Sepsis is a disease that many people have never heard of or been affected by. But statistics show that there are now nearly 150,000 cases of sepsis diagnosed each year in the UK. Incredibly, sepsis is now the cause of 44,000 deaths per annum. This is now more than the total deaths caused by bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined. Sepsis is now the biggest direct cause of death in pregnancy.
Our highly experienced team of specialist medical negligence solicitors have over forty years of experience in dealing with sepsis claims. If you or your family have been affected you may be entitled to claim compensation. Our experts will be able to advise you comprehensively about the merits of your claim, funding and ensure that you and your family get the best possible results. Contact the team for Free Consultation.
Sepsis is defined as the reaction of the human body to a bacterial infection. When infected with bacteria the body’s natural response is to immediately release white blood cells into the bloodstream to counter the infection. Additionally, the body tissues swell to prevent the infection spreading. This biological process is known as ‘inflammation’.
If the patient’s immune system is vulnerable or, if the infection is very severe then the infection can quickly spread throughout the entire body. In response, the immune system reacts and in attempting to shut down the infection, causes the inflammation to affect the patient’s entire body also.
Inflamed tissue is not very helpful to good blood flow and interruption of blood flow can then lead to a drop in blood pressure. This drop in blood pressure can cause damage to tissues and organs which are starved of the blood they need to function properly.
Infections can be caught in the community leading to hospital treatment. Alternatively, the infection may develop in hospital or it may caused by hospital treatment such as surgery or other types of invasive treatment
Symptoms include low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, increased temperature, shivering.
Sepsis is a medical emergency and prompt diagnosis is essential. It is treated with very strong antibiotics – usually by way of an intravenous drip. The patient will also require fluids. Ideally, antibiotic treatment should start within an hour of diagnosis to reduce the risk of serious complications or death. Unless treated quickly sepsis can ultimately lead to organ failure, loss of limbs or sadly even death.
The majority of our cases are funded by way of a conditional fee agreement, more commonly known as a No Win No Fee agreement. This means there is no financial risk to you.
A 32 year-old pregnant woman who died after two junior surgeons operated unsupervised to remove an inflamed appendix, but removed a healthy ovary by mistake. The error was discovered by histopathology, but not reported properly to those treating her, so she developed septicaemia and died two weeks later. At the Inquest the Coroner found that “a window of opportunity was missed” to operate again and save her. Investigations into fitness to practice by the General Medical Council resulted in some of the doctors involved being given restrictions on their practice.
Outcome: Substantial out of court settlement for the family
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