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Medical malpractice: what is sepsis?

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

Infection is always a concern in the medical field. This is because a foreign agent, whether a virus, bacteria or something else, can easily find its way into the body through a wound or incision. For this reason, New York medical professionals usually diligently work to prevent infection and the serious consequences it can have. They might consistently clean surgical incisions, provide medication to kill bacteria, and change dressings in a timely manner.

But, sometimes, medical professionals fail to take the appropriate steps to prevent infection, and even when they do, they are not always successful in staving it off. As a result, more serious medical conditions can develop, including sepsis. Sepsis occurs when chemicals that are released into the bloodstream for the purposes of fighting an infection trigger inflammation. This inflammation can become widespread, affect multiple organs and even cause death.

There are three stages to sepsis. The first stage, just referred to as sepsis, results in an increased temperature, heartrate and/or respiratory response. Severe sepsis, the second stage, can result in symptoms that include abdominal pain, breathing trouble, decrease in urination and severe changes to one’s mental state. These symptoms may indicate organ failure. The last and most dangers stage of sepsis is septic shock. Here, a patient will exhibit the symptoms mentioned above along with decreased blood-pressure.

Sepsis is a scary medical condition, but there are steps doctors can take to both try to avoid it and treat it if it presents itself. However, this requires proper screening, adequate testing and quick responses. A failure to diagnose can result in a preventable death, which is wholly unacceptable. In these instances, victims and their families may be able to take legal action in the form of a medical malpractice claim in hopes of recovering the compensation they deserve.