Sepsis is a serious and life-threatening condition caused by an improper immune system response to an infection. It occurs when, instead of only fighting off an infection, the immune system turns on the body’s own tissues and organs.
Characterized by elevated heart rate, low blood pressure, fever or hypothermia, disorientation and other symptoms, sepsis is considered a medical emergency even in its earliest stages. Without immediate treatment, sepsis can quickly escalate into septic shock and cause long-term health issues or death.
Unfortunately, sepsis in elderly individuals is sometimes the result of caregiver abuse or neglect. This is especially true in cases involving residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
If you or your loved one experienced sepsis or septic shock because a caregiver failed to recognize or address signs of sepsis, California’s Peck Law Group can help you fight for compensation. For a free case evaluation, call 866-999-9085 or fill out our online form.
Who Is at Risk of Sepsis?
People of any age can develop sepsis, but those age 65 and up are at particularly high risk. Nursing home residents entering emergency departments are over 6 times more likely to present with sepsis than non-nursing home residents.
Long-term care facility residents are more at risk of sepsis in part because they are more at risk for infections in general. The communal nature of nursing home life, effects of aging, and comorbid health disorders all contribute to increased infection rates in care facilities.
Other factors that can raise the risk of sepsis include extended hospital stays, severe injuries, and use of certain medical equipment like respirators, catheters, and IVs. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, or a weakened immune system are also risk factors. A person who has previously survived sepsis is at increased risk of developing sepsis again.
Which Infections Can Lead to Sepsis?
The body’s immune response to any infection can lead to sepsis. Most cases of sepsis are caused by bacterial infections. Viral, fungal, and parasitic infections can also lead to sepsis.
Some of the most common types of infections that lead to sepsis include:
- Respiratory infections, including pneumonia, bronchitis, COVID-19, and influenza.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs), which often go hand-in-hand with catheter use.
- Skin infections, including those that follow pressure ulcers, wounds, burns, or use of catheters and IVs.
- Gastrointestinal (GI) infections, including C. difficile, salmonella or E. coli infections, norovirus, peritonitis, and infections affecting the appendix, gallbladder, or liver.
- Central nervous system (CNS) infections, such as meningitis.
You May Be Eligible for Compensation
If you or your loved one suffered sepsis due to a long-term care facility’s failure to prevent, recognize or seek proper treatment for an infection, you may be entitled to damages.
Peck Law Group has more than five decades of experience advocating for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in California courtrooms. From offices in Los Angeles County, San Diego, Palm Desert and Sacramento, our award-winning attorneys give every case the time and attention it deserves.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.