Statistically, sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitals. This doesn’t mean that it was contracted there or that it was a matter of negligence on the part of hospital personnel. That figure purely relates to the cause signed on death certificates of those who died while in the hospital. However, it leads us to wonder if hospitals could have done anything to avoid death resulting from sepsis. The answer to that isn’t quite as simple as it may seem.
Sepsis and Hospital Negligence
There are times when it can be substantiated that sepsis is the direct result of negligence on the part of hospital employees, attending physicians or even specialists aligned with, but not working for, a hospital. You will often hear horror stories of surgical sponges and instruments being sewn up inside a surgical patient. Believe it or not, this is a bit more common than you’d care to believe. Quite often legal teams like RB Law are hired to facilitate claims against any, or all of, the above-mentioned entities said to be in some way responsible for that patient contracting and succumbing to sepsis.
Fighting Fire with Fire
In fact, liability can be shared in varying degrees between all of those entities as well. If the patient should become septic, resulting in death, the family or beneficiaries could stand to win a huge settlement if negligence is proven. That’s probably why you’ll need an attorney, and a good one at that! Bear in mind that hospitals employ a high-powered legal team that will use every maneuver to deny your claim. You will need nothing less than a high-powered team of your own in most cases. As the saying goes, sometimes it does take fighting fire with fire which is why your legal representation matters.
In the end, it really takes understanding sepsis if you are going to file a claim against a healthcare professional. Sepsis is actually the body’s immune response to an infection, usually bacterial. It is not airborne, so infection occurs through touch. This could be a dirty instrument being used on a patient or perhaps a medical professional didn’t wash their hands appropriately. Sometimes other patients have a bacterial infection that can spread to others and then there are visitors too numerous to count. There are very strict guidelines developed for the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases and if these aren’t followed to the letter, the rate of sepsis-related deaths can skyrocket.
So then, can sepsis always be avoided? Probably not unless you are willing to live like the Boy in the Plastic Bubble. However, there are ways to significantly reduce the threat of becoming septic and this is something medical professionals are well trained in. Practicing those preventative measures can save countless lives which is why negligence is unforgivable. A case like a surgical sponge being sewn into a surgical patient is irrefutable. It’s a slam dunk case. Some may not be as obvious and proving your case could be tricky. Even so, a good legal team with a history of winning medical negligence claims can help you win a settlement so rightfully deserved by those left behind. It won’t make up for the loss of a loved one, but it will raise an awareness of just how important preventative measures truly are.