Sepsis is a life-threatening health condition that occurs when the immune system releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. This often causes blood pressure to drop to dangerous levels and damage internal organs. The symptoms often include a high fever, difficulty breathing, significant drop in blood pressure, rapid heart rate, abdominal pain, mood changes, decreased urine output and mental confusion. If sepsis isn't promptly treated, it can lead to septic shock. This results in vital organ failure and death.
Sepsis is typically caused by nursing home neglect and is often treatable. This means that nursing homes have an obligation to help prevent sepsis and provide treatment for infections that often lead to sepsis. If your loved one suffered from sepsis due to negligent nursing home staff in Alabama, speak to an experienced attorney at Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC. We'll fight to hold negligent nursing homes accountable.
What causes sepsis in nursing homes?
The most common causes of sepsis in nursing homes include:
- Bedsores. If a nursing home resident remains in the same position for a long period of time without movement, they can develop bedsores (also called pressure sores). If not quickly treated, bedsores can eventually turn into sepsis. Bedsores can be prevented when nursing home staff help residents change positions and move around.
- Unsanitary IVs and catheters. When IVs and catheters aren't properly sanitized before use, residents are at risk of dangerous bacterial infections that lead to sepsis.
- Residents with compromised immune systems. Nursing home residents with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to developing sepsis.
- Serious bacterial and viral infections. The most common infections in nursing homes include bacterial pneumonia, influenza, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), urinary tract infections (UTIs), E. coli and other gastrointestinal infections.
What to do if you suspect sepsis
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered from sepsis, it's critical that you immediately bring it to the attention of nursing home staff and management. This way, they can quickly address the situation. If it's not quickly brought to their attention, they can later deny that they were aware of it.
You should also demand a prompt medical examination from a trusted independent doctor or physician from outside of the nursing home. Doing so can help create a record of the neglect and get your loved one the life-saving care they need.
Why hire an attorney if my loved one suffered from sepsis?
When a nursing home fails to protect its residents from infection, it can be held accountable. The management of these facilities must use reasonable care to prevent sepsis and other infections from developing.
An experienced nursing home neglect attorney can investigate your case. We will fight to ensure that you and your loved one get the justice you deserve. Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC is located in Birmingham, Alabama. We proudly serve nursing home residents and their families throughout the state. We take an aggressive approach to investigating and litigating nursing home neglect cases and getting the best possible outcome. If we don't win your case, you don't pay us anything. That's because we work on a contingency fee basis. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.