Over 25, 000 children are affected by sepsis each year in the UK and 5 people are killed every hour.
If left untreated the consequences of sepsis can be fatal, yet with early diagnosis and management with antibiotics, a good outcome can often be achieved.
What is sepsis?
Sepsis is a serious and life-threatening illness which arises from an infection.
The body’s immune system is designed to fight infection, however, in some circumstances, it’s response can result in widespread systemic inflammation and damage to the body’s own organs and tissues.
Severe cases of sepsis can lead to septic shock, which is a medical emergency.
Early signs of sepsis
The signs of sepsis differ depending upon the age of the person and can vary from person to person. However, below are some of the more common features:
In a child:
- Blue, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue
- A rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis
- Difficulty breathing (you may notice grunting noises or their stomach sucking under their rib cage), breathlessness or breathing very fast
- A weak, high-pitched cry that’s not like their normal cry
- Not responding like they normally do, or not interested in feeding or normal activities
- Being sleepier than normal or difficult to wake
- Feels abnormally cold to the touch
In an adult:
- Acting confused, Slurred speech or not making sense
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain
- Not Passing urine (in a day)
- Blue, pale or blotchy Skin, lips or tongue
- It feels like you are going to die
- Difficulty breathing, Severe breathlessness or breathing very fast
Source: www.nhs.uk / sepsistrust.org.
SEPSIS – RISK GROUPS
Everybody can get sepsis, no matter how healthy or how good in shape you are, or where you live. Certain people are at an even higher risk. Those include:
- Children under 1
- Adults over 60
- People with no spleen
- People with chronic diseases, e.g. lung, liver, heart
- People with weakened immune systems, e.g. AIDS, Diabetes
POST-SEPSIS SYMPTOMS (PSS)
Sepsis does not end at hospital discharge. Many sepsis survivors suffer from the consequences of sepsis for the rest of their lives. These can include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Muscle weakness
- Clouded thinking
- Difficulty sleeping
- Poor Memory
- Difficulty concentrating
Different types of sepsis claims
It is important that the signs of sepsis are detected early and appropriate steps taken to prevent the progression of the condition.
We are regularly contacted by patients who have presented to their GP or have been in hospital, when they have started to show early signs of sepsis and feel that this was missed.
Unfortunately, in some cases , those signs may be misconstrued, misinterpreted or simply ignored. If this results in an avoidable delay in diagnosis then such action could be negligent.
Our task is to identify where treatment has fallen below a reasonable standard and determine if the outcome would have been improved without the delay in treatment.
As Sepsis is a progressive condition, minutes and hours can matter and may be the difference between a life changing outcome and a full recovery.
Patient A attended the local hospital with signs of a chest infection. Blood tests and chest X-ray were undertaken and despite these showing signs suggestive of pneumonia, the claimant was discharged and reassured.
4 days later she re-presented to the Accident and Emergency department and at that time was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and widespread sepsis. She was admitted and given intravenous antibiotics placed in an induced coma. After approximately 4 weeks she was revived and went on to be discharged, however the delay in commencing antibiotics meant that she had to undergo several surgical procedures, and suffered from restricted blood supply to her extremities leaving her with a permanent restriction in movement and function.
We have the skill and expertise to investigate your claim and ensure that ensure that your injuries are appropriately compensated. Our team of lawyers will guide you through the process and support you throughout.