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Infections in nursing homes may lead to sepsis

Some West Virginia readers may not be familiar with sepsis. Based on recently published data, it is the most costly cause of being hospitalized in the United States today. It is also now the most common reason for admission to intensive care units among older people. Infections that result in sepsis often develop in nursing homes due to the negligent care of patients.

Over a million people are hospitalized for this type of complication ever year. This is a higher number than the number of hospitalizations for strokes and heart attacks combined. Patients who have persistent medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, kidney disease, cancer and neurological disease, are particularly at risk for being susceptible to sepsis.

Sepsis, which is the complication of an infection, can lead to organ failure. By its very nature, it is deadly. One-eighth to one-fourth of people with sepsis will end up dying during hospitalization.

If patients in West Virginia develop infections leading to sepsis due to a nursing home's substandard care, these patients have the right to take legal action against the nursing facility. If the sepsis results in death, a victim's surviving loved ones may choose to file a wrongful death claim against the facility, pursuing monetary damages. A damage award in this type of case may help to cover hospital bills, funeral expenses and other losses tied to a documented incident of nursing home neglect. It may also help the plaintiff to experience some sense of justice in such an ordeal.

Source:, "What are septic shock and sepsis? The facts behind these deadly conditions", Hallie Prescott and Theodore Iwashyna, June 7, 2016

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