Imagine being rushed to the hospital with a severe infection, only for the medical providers to miss the signs of a potentially life-threatening condition. Sepsis and septic shock are dangerous, and early detection and treatment are critical for survival. Peter Angelos Law, a team of Baltimore septic shock medical malpractice lawyers, has dedicated ourselves to helping victims of medical malpractice related to sepsis and septic shock, striving to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable, and fighting for the compensation victims deserve. Contact us today at 410-705-2405 for a free consultation, allowing us to assess your case and determine the right course of action to seek justice and fair compensation. Your well-being is our priority, and we are dedicated to holding accountable those responsible for the harm caused by their negligence.
Understanding Sepsis and Septic Shock
Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to infection spirals out of control, damaging organs and tissues instead of protecting them. The most severe stage of sepsis is septic shock, which is characterized by dangerously low blood pressure and organ failure, often leading to death. Identifying early symptoms like fever, rapid heartbeat, and fast breathing is key to immediate treatment and halting the progress to septic shock. Maryland sepsis guidelines emphasize the importance of early detection and prompt treatment to prevent complications.
The elderly population, especially those in nursing homes, is particularly vulnerable to developing sepsis. Conditions such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and peritonitis are often associated with sepsis, which common germs like staph, E. coli, and strep can cause. Prompt treatment of sepsis is necessary to increase survival rates, particularly in serious infection cases. Delayed treatment can lead to complications, organ failure, and even death.
Sepsis: The Body’s Overreaction to Infection
The body recognizes infections and responds by releasing immune chemicals into the bloodstream. This helps to identify, protect against, and fight off any foreign substances. However, these chemicals can cause a decrease in blood pressure, resulting in inadequate blood flow to the organs and brain. This lack of oxygen and nutrients can lead to dangerous consequences, such as organ damage.
Stage 1 sepsis is characterized by:
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Confusion or disorientation
- Extreme pain or discomfort
If left untreated, sepsis can progress to a severe infection, such as stage 2 sepsis, which is more advanced and requires immediate treatment.
Antibiotics are the primary treatment for sepsis, but they must be administered promptly to be effective. In some cases, a physician may fail to recognize the signs of infection or initiate appropriate treatment in a timely manner, resulting in severe complications, organ failure, or even death. Healthcare providers must be proactive in identifying and treating sepsis to avoid its advancement to septic shock.
Septic Shock: A Deadly Progression
Septic shock is the most severe stage of sepsis, often preceded by severe sepsis, and is characterized by dangerously low blood pressure and organ dysfunction, which may result in death. The mortality rate associated with septic shock is a staggering 40%. Those who recover from septic shock are more likely to be susceptible to future infections, further emphasizing the importance of early detection and treatment.
Typically, septic shock treatment comprises antibiotics, fluids, and medication to maintain blood pressure and organ functionality. Failure to diagnose sepsis early, recognize its progression, or initiate appropriate treatment may lead to life-threatening consequences. In such cases, medical malpractice may be a contributing factor. If there was a breach in duty of care that caused an injury or the worsening of an illness, it might be classified as medical malpractice. This is laid out in state statute Maryland Annotated Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings §3-2A. The Medical Malpractice Act states: “All claims, suits, and actions … by a person against a health care provider for medical injury allegedly suffered by the person … are subject to and shall be governed by the provisions of this act”.
Medical Malpractice and Septic Shock Cases in Baltimore
Medical malpractice, which can be a result of a medical error, is the failure of a reasonable medical provider to adhere to the accepted standard of care, which can result in harm to a patient. In septic shock cases, medical malpractice often involves a lack of recognition of the signs of infection and subsequent failure to initiate appropriate treatment. Such negligence can lead to devastating consequences, including organ failure, disability, or even death.
In Baltimore, Maryland, medical malpractice lawsuits commonly involve obtaining compensation for harm, including wrongful death cases. This can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Funeral and burial costs (in terminated life cases)
- Loss of companionship
An attorney from Peter Angelos Law dedicated to medical malpractice cases, also known as personal injury lawyers, can help victims and their families navigate the complex legal process and pursue justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Identifying Medical Negligence
Medical negligence is defined as any act or omission by a medical provider that falls below the accepted standard of care, resulting in preventable harm to a patient. In septic shock cases, common instances of medical negligence include failure to diagnose promptly, lack of appropriate treatment for sepsis, and inadequate monitoring and management of septic shock.
Attorneys review medical records to identify negligence through a comprehensive evaluation of the records, assessing for any discrepancies, errors, or departures from accepted standards of care. Furthermore, they may consult reasonable medical providers to assess the records, and specific medical record review companies can be utilized to identify potential cases of medical negligence.
Medical examinations are significant in identifying medical negligence as they aid in scientifically evaluating patient profiles, assessing treatment results, and formulating suitable treatment plans.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To establish a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the healthcare provider did not adhere to the standard of care, resulting in the injury or harm. In Maryland, claims made by plaintiffs need to be validated by testimony from a qualified medical provider, which is mandated as per the law.
A breach of the standard of care in medical malpractice cases is defined as a healthcare provider’s failure to meet the accepted degree of care and treatment that is expected of their profession. This occurs when another reasonable medical provider in a similar situation would have acted differently or provided a higher standard of care.
To successfully prove medical malpractice, the plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or failure to act were the direct cause of their injuries.
Seeking Compensation for Septic Shock Victims
Septic shock victims may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and future care costs, can be calculated based on various factors, including the cost of hospitalization, diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical treatment. Victims and their families can understand their compensation-seeking options better by consulting a Baltimore sepsis malpractice lawyer from Peter Angelos Law for a free consultation.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. In Maryland, non-economic damages are calculated according to a cap that restricts the amount an injury victim can receive. Adept legal teams can help septic shock victims seek rightful compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages in a medical malpractice case refer to the quantifiable financial losses and expenses incurred or likely to be incurred by the plaintiff due to the malpractice. These may include the cost of hospitalization, diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, rehabilitation, and any ongoing medical treatment resulting from the malpractice. Additionally, lost wages are assessed based on factors such as regular wage, potential overtime, employment history, disability, skills, and future loss of earning capacity.
Estimating future care costs in a septic shock lawsuit involves considering the magnitude and intensity of the victim’s injuries, the amount of care needed, and the professional opinion of healthcare practitioners. With the guidance of experienced legal counsel from Peter Angelos Law, septic shock victims, and their families can accurately calculate and pursue compensation for these economic damages.
Non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case refer to compensation for intangible losses such as:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Reduction in quality of life
When evaluating non-economic damages in septic shock cases, the following factors are considered:
- The severity of the septic shock
- The degree of organ dysfunction
- The effect on the patient’s quality of life
- The length of treatment and recovery
- Any long-term complications or disabilities resulting from the septic shock
By working closely with a knowledgeable legal team from Peter Angelos Law, septic shock victims can effectively pursue compensation for these non-economic damages.
Preventing Sepsis and Septic Shock in Healthcare Settings
Preventing sepsis and septic shock in healthcare settings starts with proper infection control measures, such as:
- Practicing good hand hygiene
- Treating infections promptly
- Following good hygiene practices both at home and in healthcare settings
- Keeping vaccinations up to date
Prompt treatment requires early recognition and detection of sepsis. Algorithms like SERA can help predict sepsis risk before a medical provider’s diagnosis in the hospital.
The standard treatment for sepsis in its early stages is:
- Administration of antibiotics within one hour of suspected sepsis
- Adherence to proper infection control measures
- Provision of prompt diagnosis
- Initiation of suitable treatment by healthcare providers
These practices are vital to prevent sepsis and septic shock progression. By implementing them in healthcare settings, the risk of septic shock can be significantly reduced.
Contact Us: Experienced Advocates for Septic Shock Victims
Sepsis and septic shock are life-threatening conditions that require prompt detection and treatment. Medical malpractice can contribute to these cases, with negligence significantly delaying diagnosis and treatment. Peter Angelos Law has a proven track record of success in representing septic shock victims and their families, providing personalized legal representation to seek the compensation they deserve. By working with a dedicated legal team like Peter Angelos Law, victims of septic shock and their families can find the support and guidance they need to navigate the complex legal landscape and pursue justice.
By offering personalized legal representation and drawing on our extensive experience in medical malpractice cases, Peter Angelos Law can help septic shock victims and their families assess the appropriate compensation for their economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and future care needs. We also assist in evaluating non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
With the support of Peter Angelos Law, victims, and their families can confidently pursue justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered. Contact us today at 410-705-2405.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sepsis considered medical malpractice?
Sepsis can be considered medical malpractice if a doctor failed to prevent, diagnose, or properly treat the condition and an infection or sepsis resulted. Therefore, it is worth exploring if this could be the case in your particular situation.
Whose fault is sepsis?
Sepsis is primarily caused by bacterial infections, and can also be triggered by viral or fungal infections, as well as underlying medical conditions like weakened immune systems. Ultimately, it is the result of an infection combined with a powerful response from the body’s own immune system.
What is the difference between sepsis and septic shock?
Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to an infection, while septic shock is the most severe stage of it, resulting in dangerously low blood pressure and organ dysfunction that may be fatal.
What types of damages can be sought in a septic shock medical malpractice case?
In a septic shock medical malpractice case, both economic and non-economic damages can be sought, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.