Can I Make A Medical Negligence Compensation Claim For Sepsis?
Posted on 22nd April 2020
One significant cause of injuries as a result of Medical Negligence Claims is that of Sepsis, usually following a surgical procedure or an injury, including during childbirth where tissue damage occurs.
According to NHS England, instances of Sepsis nearly doubled between 2016 and 2018, with over 350,000 cases being reported in the latter period. MG Legal, your Medical Negligence Solicitor Lancaster take a look at this life-changing medical condition which appears to be becoming more common, despite medical science improving all the time.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, is not actually damage caused by an outside organism or infection, but is the result of an overreaction by your own immune system to an infection. As a result, your own body actually ‘attacks’ itself, causing damage. There does, of course, have to be an infection present in the first instance, however, medically speaking, the two are separate conditions.
Sepsis attacks tissues and organs and so, whilst it will generally start at the point of the injury or infection, because it travels in your blood, it can spread to other areas, meaning in one person it might attack the extremities, leading to a need to amputate limbs, whereas in another it might attack the internal organs.
As Sepsis worsens, it generally attacks more of the body, and once severe organ damage has occurred (the most serious phase, known as Septic Shock), there is a mortality rate of up to 30%.
How do you prevent Sepsis?
The key to preventing Sepsis is preventing the infection that triggers it – no infection, no overreaction to it. First and foremost, hygiene and good practices in hospitals can prevent Sepsis, simply by minimising the risk of any infections being caught by the patient. If there is no infection, there is no trigger for the ‘overreaction’ that is the start of Sepsis and so, it never develops.
However, no medical procedure is without risk, and it stands to reason that the more invasive the procedure, the greater the chance of infection.
The next step is to practice good hygiene around any open wounds, care for them properly, using anti-biotic creams and, finally, for larger wounds, such as surgery cases, administer antibiotics to either pre-empt or combat any infection before or in its very early stages. The simple step that we are perhaps more aware of than ever currently is hand-washing. Many infections are transmitted by the hands and so, regular, thorough and proper handwashing can be vital.
What if Sepsis develops?
The key to preventing any kind of advanced Sepsis is early diagnosis: a rising temperature, poorly healing wounds, obvious signs of wound infection such as pus, lack of urination and breathing difficulties are all signs of Sepsis to some degree. Catching the condition early enables a treatment plan to combat the infection and reduce the severity of the bodies’ reaction. Treatments can include IV antibiotics, fluids, electrolytes, corticosteroids such as Prednisolone, a catheter to drain the bladder and assist the body with removing the infection, and oxygen replenishment therapy.
What if Sepsis becomes Severe?
In these most serious scenarios, there is risk of organ failure and of losing extremities such as fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms and legs. Sometimes, the Sepsis can be so far advanced that there is no other option but to amputate limbs to stem the spread of the issue.
How does this come to be a Medical Negligence issue?
As stated above, infection cannot be 100% prevented, however, the risk of infection can be significantly reduced by proper medical care, and in those cases where infection sets in, there are numerous treatments to prevent the infection becoming serious. Even if Sepsis does set in, timely and properly applied medical treatment can reverse the process, or at the very least minimise its impact so that a full recovery can be made.
If the care you received fell below the required standard, legally defined as being “that of a responsibly body of similarly qualified medical opinion”, then you may well be entitled to make a claim.
If you believe that you have contracted Sepsis during a hospital admission, or even following an outpatient treatment, you may be entitled to make a claim for Medical Negligence Personal Injury. MG Legal, your Medical Negligence Solicitor Lancaster, regularly handles such cases and we have successfully pursued many different NHS and Private Hospitals and Medical Practices on behalf of our clients.
How does a Medical Negligence Claim Work?
Simply contact MG Legal, your Medical Negligence Solicitor Lancaster, to discuss the events that have occurred and we will aim to identify the act of negligence.
Generally, we will carry out a review of relevant medical records including records from the venue where you had your treatment. This review is carried out free of charge and with a view to accepting the claim on the basis of a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) to progress it to a conclusion.
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