Sepsis Negligence | Sepsis Negligence Claims Newcastle

Sepsis Claims

Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to¬†infection¬†causes injury to its own tissues and organs.

Severe sepsis is sepsis causing poor organ function or insufficient blood flow.

Septic shock is low blood pressure due to sepsis that does not improve after fluid replacement

If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.

Causes of Sepsis

Sepsis is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury. Normally the immune system fights infection but sometimes, for reasons not yet understood, it attacks our body’s own organs and tissues.

Most commonly, the infection is bacterial, but it may also be fungal, viral, or protozoan. The infection may start anywhere in the body including in the lungs, brain, urinary tract, skin, and abdominal organs.

Symptoms

Sepsis can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one sign, and symptoms present differently between adults and children.

The Sepsis Trust (https://sepsistrust.org) recommends that an adult should seek medical help urgently if they develop any of these signs:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine (in a day)
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you‚Äôre going to die
  • Skin mottled or discoloured

A child may have sepsis if he or she:

  • Is breathing very fast
  • Has a ‚Äėfit‚Äô or convulsion
  • Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch

A child under 5 may have sepsis if he or she:

  • Is not feeding
  • Is vomiting repeatedly
  • Has not passed urine for 12 hours

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Treatment

If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death.

With early diagnosis however, it can be treated with antibiotics.

It is recommended that, to increase the prospects of survival, in the first hour after a patient has been diagnosed with sepsis medical practitioners should take the following 6 steps:-

  1. Administer high flow oxygen
  2. Take blood cultures
  3. Give broad spectrum antibiotics
  4. Give intravenous fluid challenges
  5. Measure serum lactate and haemoglobin
  6. Measure accurate hourly urine output

Some sepsis survivors experience a variety of physical, psychological and emotional problems while recovering. This is known as Post Sepsis Syndrome and usually lasts between 6 and 18 months, sometimes longer. Symptoms may include:

  • Recurring infections
  • Lethargy/excessive tiredness
  • Poor mobility / muscle weakness
  • Breathlessness / chest pains
  • Swollen limbs (excessive fluid in the tissues)
  • Joint and muscle pains
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss
  • Dry / flaking skin and nails
  • Taste changes
  • Poor appetite
  • Changes in vision
  • Changes in sensation in limbs
  • Repeated infections from the original site or a new infection
  • Reduced kidney function
  • Feeling cold
  • Excessive sweating
  • Anxiety / fear of sepsis recurring
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration
  • Short term memory loss
  • Mood swings

Medical Negligence

If you or a loved one have suffered preventable injury or death due to sepsis you may be able to claim compensation.

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OTHER LOSSES

You may also be able to claim for other losses you may have incurred or may incur in the future as a result of the negligent treatment.

This may include:

  • ¬†the cost of treatment or medication
  • ¬†loss of earnings
  • ¬†travel expenses to and from your Hospital for treatment
  • ¬†care and assistance someone has had to give you because of your injuries

Keep a record of any financial losses you have suffered as a result of negligence. This will include for example any wage slips or P60s. You should also keep any receipts for other losses.

TIME LIMITS

You only have 3 years to issue Court Proceedings from the date you first knew, or could reasonably have been expected to know, that you have suffered an injury caused by the fault of a medical practitioner .

This could be the date of the mistake or some time later if you did not know you had been injured at the time the mistake was made.

If Court Proceedings are not issued within 3 years of that date you would usually be unable to pursue your claim further.

The Courts can however waive this 3-year time limit in some circumstances. In any event you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

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