The CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (as seen in the show The Walking Dead and the movie Contagion) – reports that over 1.5 million people in the United States get sepsis each year, and approximately 250,000 people die from sepsis annually. 1 in 3 patients who die in a hospital have sepsis.
An evaluation by the CDC found that 7 in 10 people with sepsis had chronic diseases that require medical care on a frequent basis or recently used healthcare services. There are some common infections that can result in sepsis in adults, including:
· Skin infection – 11%
· Stomach, gut or intestine infection – 11%
· Kidney or urinary tract infection – 25%
· Lung infection like pneumonia – 35%
According to a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), while the number of cases of one of the most deadly and costly conditions at hospitals, sepsis remained flat over a period of 5 years, mortality from the condition was worse than it was previously estimated.
From 2009 to 2014, there were cases of sepsis in 6% of hospitalizations. During that same period, the condition accounted for approximately 15% of deaths in hospitals and 6.2% of discharges to hospice. Prior estimates of deaths related to sepsis were roughly 10%.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is a common and serious condition that develops when there is an infection in the body. Although it is often referred to as ‘blood poisoning’, the entire body can be affected by it. If it is not diagnosed in time or treated properly, sepsis can be life-threatening. The early signs of the condition are usually very mild.
Often times, the patient will feel generally unwell and may suffer from cold shivers, a high temperature, rapid breathing and a fast heart rate. In more severe cases, symptoms can include diarrhea, dizziness and confusion. Severe sepsis may also result in organ dysfunction and in some cases, even septic shock – a condition that occurs when blood pressures drops a dangerously low level.
Anyone can get sepsis when they have an infection, but certain individuals are at higher risk, in particular people whose immune system is compromised, including infants, people over the age of 65, cancer patients and those suffering from liver or kidney disease. Because the early symptoms of the condition are often subtle, they are sometimes attributed to other disorders.
Hospitals and Risk for Sepsis
While the health of patients may put them at risk for sepsis, the treatment setting in a hospital may also put patients at risk. There are a number of factors which result in risk of sepsis in a patient such as the concentration of patient beds, sterility of medical devices, cleanliness of water systems and the filtration of the HVAC system.
Additionally, doctors and other members of the hospital staff need to perform invasive procedures such as intravenous administration of medications or intubation. All of these variables may either increase the likelihood of a patient getting sepsis or decrease likelihood if a hospital is responsible in its operations.
Sepsis Diagnosis and Treatment
Sepsis is diagnosed based on the heart rate, breathing rate, temperature of a patient and blood tests in patients who are suspected to have a new infection. Health care provider may also conduct other tests, like stool sample if diarrhea is a symptom or a swab of any recent wounds, which they then send to the lab for analysis.
Sepsis treatment depends on the severity of the case. According to experts, if sepsis is detected early and vital organs have not yet been affected, it may be possible to treat the infection with antibiotics at home. If sepsis is detected at this stage, most people will make a full recovery. However, if it is a case of severe sepsis, you may need to be admitted to a hospital.
Experts recommend six simple steps that health care professionals can take. If these steps are taken in the first hour, a patient’s chance of survival can be doubled. These steps are:
· Administer oxygen
· Conduct a blood test for infection
· Administer antibiotics to the patient
· Give IV fluids
· Measure lactic acid in the blood (serum lactate) and the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen (hemoglobin)
· Measure urine output every hour
Where Negligence Can Occur
Although sepsis is common, it is one of the most common causes of legal claims for compensation.
As mentioned earlier, the initial symptoms of sepsis can be mild and this is one of the main reasons that they are overlooked and confused with other illnesses, such as flu. This can mean that patients are not evaluated, and treated, for the condition when it is still in the early stages. If a patient shows signs and symptoms of infection, at least a basic physical examination should be provided.
Another source of medical negligence can be when health care providers identify sepsis, but fail to treat it quickly and effectively. A delay in diagnosis as well as treatment can cause such a condition to worsen and dramatically the risk of septic shock, or even organ failure, and in some cases death.
This is where you need to call RMFW Law. We know this arena. We have won millions of dollars for past clients and you too can be on this coveted list.
Let’s hear what you have to say. If you have been neglected in a hospital you need to call us up so we can handle this. You don’t have a claim unless another medial expert supports your claim. Let’s start on this process today. If a hospital has behaved incorrectly much to the detriment of your health, we need to do something about that.
$24 Million Awarded to Woman Due to Doctor Negligence
$24 million was awarded to a middle-aged woman whose left hand and legs were amputated after an infected kidney stone resulted in septic shock In 2011, 36-year-old Ana Pereira was treated at the. Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch for kidney stone.
After a trial that went on for a month, the jury found Dr. Michael Esposito, the on-call urologist, was negligent in treating Pereira. The other doctor – critical care physician, Dr. Violet Kramer – named in the civil suit was not found negligent.
The $24 million that Pereira was awarded is the second sum she has received from lawsuits she filed regarding the care that she received seven years ago. When a previous suit against a group of doctors was settled, she was awarded $18.5 million.
When You can File a Sepsis Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
There are several factors that need to exist before you can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit for sepsis, which are as follows:
· You, i.e., the injured party, must have been treated at the hospital or the medical professional in question within a reasonable timeframe before they acquired sepsis.
· You will need to prove that the hospital or health care provider acted in a negligent manner – that they deviated from the reasonable standard of care expected from a similarly qualified peer under similar circumstances. To determine this, expert medical witnesses will be required to evaluate and testify about the risk factors in patients like prior health conditions, iatrogenic risk factors, including basic health and sanitation practices, and organizational risk factors like breakdowns in communication among staff members.
· You must show evidence that the negligence by the hospital or physician was directly responsible for the injuries you suffered as already insinuated. RMFW can help you find the medical expert to support your case. There is not any guarantees but call us and let’s discuss this situation.
· You must have evidence showing that the injuries resulted in damages, like pain and suffering, to you or your family.
How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Handles Sepsis Lawsuits
A terrific medical malpractice attorney makes sure that they treat their clients with respect and compassion while they fight for justice on their behalf. Once they establish that there is a viable medical malpractice case, the legal pro will take the burden of the case off of the shoulders of the victim so that they are able to put their focus on the care and treatment of and recovery from their injury.
For a sepsis injury, some of the things that a medical malpractice attorney does include:
· Build a case by gathering medical reports, photographs and witness statements.
· Retain expert witnesses who will be able to support the case and if necessary, testifying in court.
· May get in touch with creditors to inform them as to when they can expect payment towards bills.
· If negotiations fail, demand arbitration or file a lawsuit.
· Negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement.
· Handling discovery proceedings, which also includes and is not limited to depositions of witnesses, parties, and experts.
· Go to trial in a court of law.
$20 Million Awarded for Postpartum Death
On August 28th, 2017, a medical malpractice verdict – believed to be the largest in the history of Minnesota – was handed in a case involving a 36-year-old woman who died of sepsis 6 days after she delivered a son.
A jury in Hennepin County awarded $20.6 million in a lawsuit filed against Emergency Care Consultants in a case in which Chris Messerly, the plaintiff’s attorney, had trouble completing his closing argument due to the tragic nature of the case.
On August 20th, 2013, Nicole Bermingham gave birth to her first child. On August 24, she was forced to the emergency department at Abbott Northwestern in constant excruciating pain and running a temperature of around 101.8 – 101.9. A doctor did not see her because the department was staffed with a nurse practitioner from Emergency Care Consultants – third party contracted to provide emergency care to Abbott.
In a trial brief, Messerly said that blood tests showed an "alarming low" platelet count in Bermingham. That is a sign of an inflammatory response or sepsis infection, but the nurse practitioner diagnosed a urinary tract infection and failed to inform the on-call obstetrician about the low platelet count. Bermingham was then discharged.
She turned with more symptoms about 15 hours later – doctors recognized the symptoms as sepsis. She was provided treatment with antibiotics and doctors performed an emergency hysterectomy but she died on August 26th.
Court documents stated that Dr. Harold Weisenfeld was the plaintiff’s expert and testified that Bermingham’s life could have been saved with proper diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. David Eschenbach was called by the defense to say that necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria) was the cause of Bermingham’s death. The defense denied that an admission delay or any negligence directly caused her death.
The attorney who also represented Bermingham’s survivors, Elizabeth Fors said that the defense stipulated to negligence, but did not want to take responsibility for her death. She said that the sepsis Bermingham acquired started out endometriosis, which is an infection that commonly occurs after a vaginal birth, and that the infection went on untreated, ultimately resulting in her death.
The jury found the nurse practitioner negligent and that Bermingham’s death was directly caused by the negligence. The pecuniary loss was $500,000 for lost earnings, $1.204 million for loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, and other pecuniary loss and $50,000 for lost household services.
The jury awarded $4 million for lost capacity of future earnings, $400,000 for lost future household services, and $14.446 million for future loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, and other pecuniary loss.
File a Sepsis Medical Malpractice Lawsuit With RMFW Law – We want results just like you do!
When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, medical malpractice is the most complex. It can be challenging to prove negligence and the process to filing a claim comes with many procedures as well as rules that vary from one state to another. This is why you need to hire a legal counselor when you think that you have a medical malpractice case.
Before they take on your case, the attorney will assess your case and determine if you have enough evidence to prove that negligence occurred.
Once this has been determined, you can begin taking the steps to filing a claim against the negligent party responsible for sepsis. You can obtain compensation for the injury you have suffered. If a loved one died as a result of sepsis caused by medical negligence, you can file a wrongful death suit against the doctor or hospital.
If you or a loved one acquired sepsis due to your doctor or other medical professional’s negligence, you should immediately seek the help of a capable and profound medical malpractice attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff, of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
The attorney your hire will protect your rights and make sure that you receive fair compensation for the harm you suffered as well as other damages such as pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, etc. It is important to make sure that you hire an attorney who has experience in handling cases like yours so that you can get the best outcome from the lawsuit.
Call RMFW Law today! You pay us nothing in the beginning and we only come out on top if you do.