Amputation Due to Sepsis

Man with Amputated Leg Due to Sepsis

Robenalt Law Seeks Justice for People Who Required an Amputation Due to Sepsis

Sepsis is an infection of the blood that occurs when the body overreacts to another source of infection. Normally, the initial infection is treated with antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, or antiparasitics. But if a doctor fails to diagnose the infection and allows it to progress untreated, the infection may lead to a dangerous condition called sepsis.

Sepsis is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, and is often confused for other conditions early on. Delayed diagnosis may lead to excessive blood-clotting which may require an amputation due to sepsis, multi-system organ failure and, ultimately, death.

Sepsis is entirely preventable, and can be easily diagnosed with a simple blood test. If you or a loved one required an amputation due to sepsis, you might have been a victim of medical malpractice.

Excessive Clotting May Lead to Amputation Due to Sepsis

Sepsis occurs when the immune system overreacts to an infection. Normally, the body’s immune system fights germs such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites, to prevent infection. If a person develops an infection, the body may need the help of medications such as antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics. But sometimes the immune system stops fighting the “bad’ germs and turns on itself. This is the beginning of sepsis.

If sepsis is not treated, it can lead to tissue damage. When too much tissue is damaged, it may require an amputation due to sepsis.

When a patient suffers from sepsis, excessive blood clots slow the flow of blood throughout the body. When blood cannot pass through the blood vessels due to extreme clotting, the body’s tissues are deprived of the nourishment they need. This can lead to tissue death. When too much tissue dies, it must be removed. This is usually accomplished through amputation.

People who have suffered from septic shock may need to have fingers or toes amputated. Other people need to have hands, feet, arms, or legs amputated.

What Causes Sepsis?

Common medical conditions that can lead to sepsis include:

  • Bedsores. Nursing home patients may develop bedsores if they are left unattended for long periods of time without being re-positioned. The lack of movement can lead to bedsores which, if they become infected and are not treated, can lead to sepsis.
  • I/V Lines. Intravenous lines that are not properly cared for they can lead to sepsis. The I/V insertion site must be cleaned and sanitized regularly. If the site is not cleaned regularly it can become infected, which can result in infection reaching the bloodstream. A blood infection can quickly lead to sepsis if it is not treated promptly and properly.
  • Wounds from Surgery. People who have recently undergone surgery need medicine to heal properly. If the medication is not taken properly, wounds heal more slowly and can become infected. An infected wound can lead to sepsis.
  • Un-diagnosed infections. An un-diagnosed and untreated infection of the lungs, kidneys or urinary tract, intestines, or skin can lead to sepsis. Untreated sepsis can progress to septic shock, which occurs when the body’s organs start to shut down.

Signs and Symptom of Sepsis

Sepsis is one of the most expensive in-patient costs facing American medical providers. Forty percent of people diagnosed with sepsis do not survive, and up to 50% suffer from post-sepsis syndrome.

According to the CDC, sepsis affects nearly 1.5 million people in the United States every year and frequently occurs in patients who recently used healthcare services or had chronic diseases that require frequent medical care. About 250,000 Americans die from sepsis every year. One-third of hospital deaths in the U.S. are caused by sepsis.

Sepsis is not a diagnosis of infection itself, but rather is diagnosed when a patient exhibits the signs and symptoms of sepsis. Symptoms of sepsis include:

  • Shivering
  • Extreme pain or generalized discomfort
  • Pale or discolored skin
  • Sleepy, difficult to rise
  • I feel like I might die”
  • Short of breath

If a patient is allowed to progress to septic shock, the patient will show signs of organ dysfunction, low or no urine output, abnormal liver tests, and changes in mental status. Most patients who are diagnosed with sepsis require treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Groups at a Higher Risk of Developing Sepsis

People who are at a higher risk of contracting an infection, including the very young, the very old, those with chronic illness, and those with weakened immune systems, are at a higher risk of contracting sepsis.

Amputation Due to Sepsis? The Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Robenalt Law Can Help

An amputation due to sepsis will have an enormous effect on a person’s life. If you or a loved one required an amputation due to sepsis, or if a family member died due to sepsis or septic shock, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Ohio medical malpractice lawyer at Robenalt Law today today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call 216-223-7535, complete our online form, or email trobenalt@robenaltlaw.com.

Tom Robenalt started his litigation career representing doctors and hospitals at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 20 years, he has used that experience to help victims and the families of those injured by negligent health care providers.

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