When you check into a hospital, your usual expectation is that you will be treated, and then be released in better health. However, for thousands of patients each year across the United States, that is not the case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that for patients who die in hospitals, one in three contracted sepsis during their hospital stay.
With more than 1.5 million cases each year in the United States and more than 250,000 deaths caused by sepsis, sepsis is a danger of which every patient should be aware. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by the body’s overwhelming response to infection. It can damage tissues, cause organ failure, and result in death.
Sepsis can develop rapidly, and is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. When it is quickly recognized and appropriately treated, lives can be saved. When it is misdiagnosed or inadequately treated, the consequences can be severe and the injuries caused may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Elderly patients, small children, and patients with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to infections that can cause miscarriages, loss of limbs, permanent brain damage and even death.
A recent CDC evaluation found that seven in 10 patients with sepsis had recently used healthcare services or had chronic diseases requiring frequent medical care. In adults, common infections that led to sepsis included:
- Lung infection, such as pneumonia (35%)
- Kidney or urinary tract infection (25%)
- Gut, stomach or intestine infection (11%)
- Skin infection (11%)
Prompt diagnosis of sepsis is key to patient treatment and recovery. At the first symptoms of sepsis, such as fever, increased heart rate and increased respiration, diagnostic testing should be ordered. Blood tests can determine if an abnormal number of white blood cells are present and which antibiotics can be used to fight the infection.
When doctors and medical staff are slow in recognizing the symptoms of sepsis, it may allow the sepsis to spread until it is too late to treat or the infection has become highly resistant to antibiotics. Doctors who diagnoses and treat sepsis late should be held accountable for the injuries they cause.
At Kline & Specter, PC, our experienced litigators have won millions of dollars for victims of medical malpractice. With five accomplished doctors on our team of more than 40 attorneys, we have the medical knowledge and legal skill to pursue your medical malpractice claim and fight for the justice your family deserves when you have been injured or lost a loved one due to sepsis.
Our attorneys have won major victories for our clients, including:
- $100 million for an infant who suffered severe brain damage due to doctors’ errors—the largest-ever medical malpractice verdict in Pennsylvania
- $49 million for a young man who was severely brain damaged due to hospital errors
- $42.9 million for a baby girl who was seriously injured at birth in a Philadelphia hospital
Call Kline & Specter today at 800-243-1100 for a free case consultation. We welcome clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and across the United States. Where appropriate or required under local rules, we work along with local counsel.