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"If you have had an infection & there are signs of the symptoms listed here, it is important to seek medical advice urgently."

Sepsis

What is Sepsis?
Is commonly known as blood poisoning and sometimes referred to as septicaemia. There is growing media around sepsis and nationally there is encouragement within the medical profession to raise awareness of sepsis. What is alarming is that if left untreated it can be life threatening.

This life threatening condition is caused when your body responds to an infection and injures its own tissues and organs, it often leads to shock and organ failure. 

Medical professionals are trained to detect early symptoms of sepsis. Sadly, there are still failings in detecting sepsis early both in the medical profession and within the general public. One of the biggest problems is that  family, friends or medical professionals fail to pick up the early warning signs of sepsis.

Causes of sepsis
Any infection whether bacterial or viral can result in sepsis. The areas of the body which are most vulnerable to sepsis include lungs, urinary tract (urine infections), stomach, and pelvis infection.

Typical or common sources that can cause sepsis are:

  • urine infections
  • appendicitis (infection in your appendix)
  • pneumonia (infection in the lungs)
  • peritonitis (infection in the stomach tissues/peritoneum)
  • cellulitis (skin infection)
  • meningitis (brain infection)
  • encephalitis (brain infection)
  • endocarditis (infection of the heart)
  • osteomyelitis (bone infection)

Symptoms of sepsis
The list can be exhaustive for sepsis, and some symptoms can be generic and typical of a viral illness. It is important to be aware of infection or sepsis. Some of the symptoms include:

  • high temperature 
  • chills 
  • shivering
  • fast heart rate
  • rapid breathing

If you have septic shock or more advanced sepsis you could experience some or all of these symptoms; confusion, diarrhoea, lethargy (tiredness), slurred speech, nausea, shortness of breath, muscle pain or, loss of conciousness. 

If you or a loved one has recently had an infection and there are signs of these symptoms, then it is important that you seek medical advice urgently. Cases in clinical negligence concerning sepsis are often the result of a delay in diagnosis or failure to diagnose.

Failing to diagnose or a delay in diagnosis for sepsis can result in death or, can leave a loved one with long term complications such as depression, or muscle weakness.

Sepsis 6
There are national guidelines which have been introduced to reduce the mortality (death rate) of sepsis within the UK, and this is known as the Sepsis 6, which is as follows:

  • give High flow oxygen
  • take blood cultures
  • give IV antibiotics
  • give IV fluids
  • check lactate
  • monitor hourly urine input

How can claiming for compensation help me?
If there is a failure to diagnose and treat sepsis or even a delay in diagnosis and treatment, then you may be entitled to compensation. You can recover compensation for your pain, suffering and any financial losses which you have incurred as a result of the alleged negligence. This may include the cost of future treatment, loss of earnings, travel expenses, and care costs, adaptations to the home and in some cases counselling. 

If your loved one has died, then you may be entitled to claim for the loss of services that the loved one provided, such gardening or child care. There may also be a financial dependency claim and an award for the death of the loved one, known as statutory bereavement. 

There is a set amount of time that you need to bring your claim forward to any specialist clinical or medical negligence solicitor. 

Why choose NewLaw solicitors?  
Our team of medical negligence solicitors are experts in bringing justice in cases of this nature and will help you understand the complex claims process involved. With years of experience and the ability to work with you sensitively, NewLaw’s medical negligence team is on hand and will be there for you every step of the way.

What can you do?
If you feel there was a delay or failure to diagnose sepsis and provide treatment, whether through the NHS or a private medical practitioner, contact one of our experienced members of the medical negligence team to discuss your situation on 0333 003 1909

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