Sepsis, also known as septicaemia or blood poisoning, is a condition initiated by a bacterial infection which spreads through the bloodstream. The infection may begin as a localised bacterial infection such as pneumonia, cellulitis (skin infection), urinary tract infection or appendicitis. If a patient’s immune system is weakened, either by another illness or because they are especially young or old, the infection can spread through the bloodstream to other organs causing sepsis. It may also spread if the infection is particularly severe. Initial symptoms include fever, chills, fast heartbeat and fast breathing. The symptoms may progress if the condition is not picked up on early and treated. This means that the blood pressure may drop quickly causing septic shock. Symptoms of this include feeling dizzy, faint, some confusion, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea and clammy or pale skin. The organs may then be affected if the blood pressure drops significantly and severe cases of sepsis can cause multiple organ failure if left untreated. Admission to a hospital for antibiotic treatment is normally recommended but it may be treated at home in the very early stages. A failure to diagnose sepsis can have catastrophic effects on a patient and can lead to fatality.
Complications of sepsis
Septic shock occurs when the blood pressure drops drastically and the organs fail to receive enough oxygen to function properly. This can lead to a patient falling into a coma and subsequent organ failure can occur. As this condition can be treated with antibiotics, it is essential that a patient is sent for emergency treatment as soon as sepsis is diagnosed. A failure to diagnose sepsis can result in delays in treatment which can lead to the above complications. Some patients may develop disabilities but, in severe cases, a patient may not survive. If you or someone you love was not diagnosed with sepsis and was not appropriately treated, there may have been medical negligence taking place.
Making a compensation claim
With the help of our team at Accident Advice Helpline, you may be able to make a compensation claim on your own behalf or on behalf of a loved one. This is provided there is evidence of medical negligence when diagnosing a condition like sepsis. Call our free 24-hour helpline to speak with our team regarding your case. Our no win, no fee* policy means that you won’t put a strain on your finances to make a claim for the compensation you deserve.
Date Published: August 27, 2014
Author: David Brown