Sepsis in Nursing Homes
West Virginia Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
In many cases, a serious infection in an elderly person is passed off as an inevitable effect of aging. While the elderly are at a greater risk of developing an infection, the cause often has nothing to do with the victim’s age. In a nursing home environment, it may be due to neglect.
At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, our West Virginia nursing home neglect attorneys handle cases of nursing home abuse and neglect that result in serious injuries or death. If your loved one has died or suffered a serious injury due to bacterial sepsis, our lawyers offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. If the nursing home was negligent in caring for your loved one, you may be entitled to compensation.
What Is Sepsis?
Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body has an extreme reaction to an infection and causes damage to its own tissues. Sepsis is considered a medical emergency and should be treated immediately, as it can lead to septic shock. Septic shock occurs when blood pressure drops dramatically, often leading to severe injury, tissue damage, and death.
Sepsis can be caused by a wide variety of infections, including but not limited to:
- Kidney infections
- Bladder infections
- Untreated wounds/burns
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Digestive system infections
- Infections of the blood
When these and other serious infections go untreated, an individual may experience numerous complications, including sepsis and septic shock. Nursing homes and other assisted living facilities have a responsibility to properly diagnose and treat various infections and medical conditions in their residents. Failure to do so could constitute nursing home abuse or neglect.
What Are the Signs of Sepsis?
Because sepsis is such a serious condition, it is critical that you know and recognize the signs of sepsis and septic shock. If you believe you or someone else may be experiencing sepsis, take immediate action. Call 911 and/or have your loved one transported to a hospital or facility where they can receive emergency medical care.
Some of the most common symptoms of sepsis include:
- Changes in mental state
- Rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Chills/feeling very cold
- Pain, sometimes extreme
- Clammy skin
Certain people are at a higher risk of developing sepsis, including adults who are 65 and older, individuals with weakened immune systems, and those with cancer, lung disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. However, anyone can develop sepsis and go into septic shock; always be aware of your elderly loved one’s health history, including whether they have had any recent infections or injuries that could lead to infection.
When Is Sepsis Caused by Abuse or Neglect?
While sepsis can develop rapidly, it usually occurs due to untreated illnesses and infections. When nursing home doctors, nurses, and nursing aides fail to provide proper care, residents can develop life-threatening conditions as a result of this neglect.
The following are examples of neglect that can lead to bacterial sepsis or infection:
- Bedsores caused by failure to reposition an immobile resident
- Failure to maintain catheters, breathing tubes, and other medical devices
- Failure to monitor a patient following surgery
- Failure to dispense prescribed antibiotics
- Failure to properly treat open wounds and/or burn injuries
In an elderly person, symptoms of bacterial infection may include confusion, chills, or weakness. Your loved one may also breathe faster or have a darker skin appearance. Without prompt treatment and management, bacterial infection can cause organ failure and death.
What to Do If Your Loved One Developed Sepsis in a Nursing Home
If your elderly loved one developed sepsis or died due to septic shock while in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may have grounds for legal action. It is important that you discuss your potential case with an experienced attorney, like those at Warner Law Offices, PLLC.
Our West Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys know how to investigate claims and determine who is liable for your or your loved one’s injuries. We work with a team of experts, including forensic experts, liability experts, and damages experts. Together, we are able to assess whether the nursing home or its staff acted negligently, leading to your loved one’s injuries and/or death. We have extensive experience representing victims and their families in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect cases, including those involving untreated bedsores and infections, sepsis, and septic shock. We understand the difficulties you are facing, and we are here to help.
Call Us for Compassionate, Dedicated Legal Representation
At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we understand that no amount of money will undo the pain and suffering you, your loved one, and your family have been through. However, by helping you fight for a fair settlement or verdict, we can bring justice to your family and help ensure similar acts do not occur again in the future.
We provide free initial consultations and contingency fees. This means that you do not owe any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses when you hire our firm. Instead, we only recover attorney fees if/when we successfully secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf.