Sepsis From Bedsores in Maryland Nursing Homes

Sepsis is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the body reacts negatively to an infection. The immune system is responsible for protecting the body from bacterial and viral infections, but occasionally, it can overreact and release too many chemicals in an attempt to fight a foreign infection.

When these chemicals are released into the bloodstream, they can cause inflammation, which can result in bodily shock. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are roughly 1.5 million cases of sepsis each year, some of which are caused by infected bedsores.

If you ever wondered if you or a loved one could get sepsis from bedsores in Maryland, keep reading to learn more about prevention, risk factors, and treatment options. Call a seasoned bedsores attorney today for more information.

Bedsores and Infection

As mentioned above, patients in Maryland nursing homes can get sepsis from bedsores. Bedsores are common in hospitals and nursing homes, especially among the elderly and bedridden. Bedsores, as their name implies, are sores that develop when a person is left in one position for an extended amount of time. To prevent bedsores, nursing home and hospital staff members should help immobile patients move about and change positions periodically.

As the pressure of the body pushes down on a surface, the sores can become large and painful. As time progresses, they can become infected if they are not treated properly and promptly. Most infections can be treated with antibiotics and other drugs, but in some cases, an infection can become severe or spread throughout the entire body. When this occurs, the immune system will spring into action and attempt to destroy the bacteria causing the infection.

Stages and Symptoms of Sepsis

In general, there are three stages of sepsis – sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. High fever, increased heart and breathing rates, and confirmed infections are common signs of sepsis, and individuals presenting two or more of these symptoms may be diagnosed with the condition.

Severe sepsis, as its name suggests, presents more severe symptoms than sepsis, and almost always results in organ failure. These symptoms can include:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Low platelet count
  • Decrease in body temperature
  • Abnormal heart functioning
  • Loss of consciousness

Other symptoms include fatigue, difficulty breathing, decreased urination, and in some individuals, disorientation or a loss in mental acuity. Symptoms of septic shock include all the symptoms associated with severe sepsis, in addition to dangerously low blood pressure.

Treating Sepsis

Unfortunately, seniors make up the vast majority of sepsis cases, especially those who are already suffering from ill-health. Sepsis can quickly result in septic shock, and if not treated promptly, septic shock can be deadly. If a senior develops sepsis, their physician may prescribe the following treatments:

  • Antibiotics to fight infection
  • Insulin to stabilize blood sugar
  • Vasoactive drugs to lower blood pressure
  • NSAIDs and other painkillers
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (ex: corticosteroids)

When a person develops severe sepsis, they may need to replace bodily fluids via IV. In some cases, the infected tissue may have to be surgically removed to prevent further harm to the patient. Sepsis patients suffering from kidney damage may also need dialysis to remove waste from their bodies.

Call an Attorney if You Developed Sepsis From Bedsores

As you can see, sepsis is a very serious condition that can lead to a myriad of deadly medical complications. Unfortunately, sepsis can be caused by bedsores, which are extremely preventable and treatable, especially when they are noticed early. Nursing homes have an obligation to prevent both bedsores and sepsis among their patients.

If you or a loved one developed sepsis from bedsores in a Maryland nursing home, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Call an attorney today to discuss your case.