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Septic Shock

Sepsis is a form of blood poisoning that occurs when a bacterial infection gets into the bloodstream. Such an infection can travel from a wound or incision, and is therefore relatively common in hospital settings. When a surgical incision, for example, becomes infected, it may result in sepsis if the infection is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Although sepsis itself is quite dangerous, it can lead to an even more dangerous condition called septic shock. Contact a Boston Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today.

About 20% of Patient Deaths in Hospitals are Due to Septic Shock

When septic shock sets in, vital organs can fail, resulting in the patient’s death. Septic shock can cause the heart, kidneys, lungs, and liver to shut down and may lead to a dangerously low blood pressure that can only be stabilized with the use of strong IV medications such as Levophed or epinephrine. Unfortunately, actions to help a patient in septic shock are often futile. Many patients die. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one-fifth of hospital deaths are a result of septic shock.

Was Negligence a Factor?

Infection in hospitals is hard to eradicate completely. Many patients have open wounds and incisions, and hospitals are populated by sick people with bacterial infections and other transmittable diseases. Although proper precautions can significantly reduce the incidence of hospital infections, there will always be some room for error. However, septic shock is a different story. Sepsis is the infection, but septic shock occurs when an infection goes untreated. With about 20% of hospital deaths being linked to septic shock, there is a very real concern surrounding hospital negligence and medical malpractice.

Septic Shock Often Leads to Permanent Damage

Even when a septic patient survives, he or she may suffer from problems with mobility, cognitive impairments, and permanent damage to vital organs. Organ damage may require a lifetime of medical treatments, such as dialysis, to keep the patient alive.

Symptoms of Septic Shock
  • Pale, cool skin - particularly the arms and legs
  • Excessively high or excessively low temperature
  • Chills
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extremely low blood pressure (may become worse when standing)
  • Little to no urine output
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid heart beat

Although the list above is far from exhaustive, and the symptoms may be indicative of other medical conditions, talk to your physician immediately if you develop any of these symptoms while in the hospital. If treated promptly for septic shock, patients have a much greater chance of survival.

Altman & Altman, LLP - Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving all of Massachusetts

If you have been injured as a result of medical error or negligence, the medical malpractice team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. With more than 50 years of experience protecting victims of malpractice, we have the knowledge and skill to help you get the compensation you deserve. Being admitted to the hospital for an illness or injury is difficult enough. You shouldn’t have to worry about developing an infection that will go unnoticed, and therefore untreated, by medical personnel during your stay. If you’ve been harmed due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other associated costs. Contact the medical malpractice team at Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.

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