News & Events
Sepsis – The Underrated Killer
- April 26, 2019
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: blog
It is an illness that kills more people in Britain than the combined number of people dying from breast, bowel and prostate cancer, but one that few people are aware of. Sepsis is an illness that is increasing in frequency and severity across the developed world and is reported to kill as many as 44,000 people every year in the U.K. Many people who develop sepsis shouldn’t do so as they develop the illness while in the care of health professionals. Sepsis sufferers or the families of people who have died of sepsis while in the care of health providers are entitled to seek compensation for their loss.
What exactly is sepsis?
Sepsis is caused by the body’s natural response to infection. When someone becomes exposed to infection, there is the chance that the infection spreads throughout the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. The body’s immune system, its natural infection response mechanism triggers an automatic release of antibodies and other infection fighting agents. Normally, if the infection is confined to a relatively small part of the body, the immune response starts to control it then finally destroys it. However, if the infection has already spread beyond its original entry point, the immune response becomes dangerous as the very agents that the body uses to fight the infection turn against the cells and tissues that belong to the body. Organs can become so damaged from this attack that they lose their functionality. One in four sepsis sufferers die from its effects.
The symptoms of sepsis
Health professionals in the NHS and private hospitals are trained to recognize the early symptoms of sepsis. They should also be aware of the underlying reasons why the illness may develop in certain people who are predisposed to it. However, the NHS has become under so much financial strain that overworked staff may miss detecting early symptoms and administer treatment when it is too late to save the patient. The early symptoms that should be looked for include:
- Low systolic blood pressure;
- Rapid heartbeat;
- Faster than normal breathing;
- Abnormal fluctuations in temperature.
- signs of a disturbed mental state;
- discolouration of the skin, such as mottling, or unusual paleness;
- cyanosed lips and face.
Sepsis can cause a very rapid deterioration after early symptoms develop.
How can sepsis be prevented?
Sepsis is a reaction to a spread of infection. As long as infections in patients are detected early enough and treated they do not have a chance of spreading further around the body. This is the best method of preventing sepsis. If sepsis does develop despite the earlier it is treated, the more likely that the patient will survive and recover. Summing up, sepsis can be avoided altogether by treating infections quickly and effectively. Serious sepsis illness that can paralyse patients or lead to their death can be prevented by early detection and effective treatment.
What might lead to a personal injury claim?
Claims may result from a recognition that sepsis occurred as a result of negligence on the part of health care professionals in a medical institution. Hospitals have a duty of care. It is rare for sepsis sufferers to go into hospital primarily because of sepsis. They are usually there for another health reason and develop an infection in the hospital that then leads to sepsis. This in most cases can be avoided. If someone develops sepsis in a public or private hospital there are good grounds for claiming compensation from the hospital