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How Can Nursing Home Negligence Lead to Sepsis in Patients?

 Posted on July 20, 2020 in Personal Injury

Joliet nursing home negligence lawyerStatistics show that people are living longer these days. Today, there are more than 46 million adults aged 65 and older living in the United States. In 2034, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that number to be 77.0 million. Based on these projections, the older generation will likely need assistance later in life. Many elderly people reach an age where it is not safe for them to drive a car or live on their own. The decision to put your family member in a nursing home or assisted-living facility can be challenging. Entrusting his or her health and safety with other people is a major step in the aging process. However, when management or personnel at nursing homes do not follow proper safety procedures, patients can be put at significant risk of injuries or life-threatening infections, such as sepsis, due to neglect or abuse

What Is Sepsis?

One of the leading causes of death in nursing homes is infection. Untreated infections can turn into sepsis, a dangerous condition that occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. This can cause a chain reaction that can lead to tissue damage and organ failure, in some cases resulting in death.

Signs and symptoms of sepsis include: 

  • Fever

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Low blood pressure 

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Mental confusion

  • Pain/discomfort

  • Unconsciousness

When organs begin to not function, this is referred to as severe sepsis. Septic shock is the last stage of sepsis and means the patient experiences hypotension despite fluid resuscitation. Once a person reaches septic shock, the mortality rate can be high. 

How Neglect Plays a Role 

Sepsis can be difficult to identify, but if medical staff carefully monitor residents of a nursing home, they should be able to recognize the above-mentioned symptoms. Early detection of sepsis is critical for treatments to be effective and the patient to have a chance at surviving. One of the main reasons that sepsis and other serious infections occur is because of neglect. When a long-term care facility is understaffed or does not adequately train their employees, residents may be left unattended for hours. Medical staff may not notice the signs of infection or sepsis until it is too late to treat. In these cases, relatives of the patient may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.  

Contact a Joliet Personal Injury Attorney

Many elderly individuals reside in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. Unfortunately, in some cases, residents can be victims of abuse and neglect. This negligence can result in serious infections, such as sepsis, which may inflict long-term damage to your family member. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, our qualified and compassionate Will County nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers will fight for your loved one’s rights to compensation. Call us today at 815-727-0100 to schedule your free consultation.




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