Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Sepsis Malpractice Lawyers in Michigan
When we or our loved ones go to the hospital, we expect only the best care possible. Doctors receive extensive training, especially when it comes to surgery and treatment. However, even doctors and nurses can make very serious mistakes that result in injury to a patient. One of these potential illnesses is sepsis, which is very serious.
If a surgeon or doctor engages in medical negligence that leads to sepsis for you or a loved one, you might have a sepsis malpractice case. Lipton Law has extensive experience representing victims of medical malpractice in Michigan, and we can help with your sepsis case. To schedule a free consultation with us, please call 248-557-1688 today. Our Southfield personal injury attorneys are here for you every step of the way.
Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Sepsis?
Yes. Because many providers often misdiagnose sepsis, it can lead to medical malpractice cases.
However, you and your experienced medical malpractice attorney must be able to prove the following:
- There existed a doctor-patient relationship between you and the responsible provider.
- The medical providers were negligent and breached their duty of care to the patient.
- This breach led to the illness, injury, or wrongful death of the patient.
When you and your attorney find proof of negligence, the next step is to pursue a claim either on behalf of yourself or your loved one. It is crucial for any medical malpractice claim to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Lipton Law offers a free case evaluation for our clients before we establish an attorney-client relationship. During this evaluation, we can help you understand whether or not you have a valid medical malpractice case.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Get Qualified Legal Help for Your Sepsis Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
At Lipton Law, our first priority is always the client and their family. We understand that a serious personal injury can have lifelong consequences not only for you but also for your loved ones. Our legal team is highly passionate about seeking justice for those injured due to another person’s negligence.
Additionally, as one of the best law firms in Michigan, we treat you like family. Our main focus is on giving you and your case the edge you need for the best possible outcome. Standing up for injury victims is what we do, and we can’t wait to hear from you. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is an extreme bodily reaction to infection. Sepsis and septic shock are very serious, life-threatening emergencies. When you have an infection of any kind, it could trigger sepsis if left untreated for too long. Sepsis generally leads to a chain reaction that affects multiple bodily systems.
While sepsis itself is not contagious, certain infections that can lead to sepsis are contagious. Examples include certain bacterial and viral infections. The infections that most commonly lead to developing sepsis usually begin in the skin, urinary tract, lungs, or gastrointestinal tract. Severe sepsis without proper treatment can cause organ failure, tissue damage, and wrongful death.
What Causes Sepsis?
Most sepsis cases arise from bacterial infections. However, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections can also cause sepsis.
While infection in any part of the body can lead to a sepsis diagnosis, there are common areas and infection types that tend to lead to sepsis. These include:
- Skin: As many people already know, bacteria can enter the skin through wounds and inflammation. However, most don’t realize that it can also enter through IV catheters. Additionally, inflammation of the connective tissue in the skin, which is called cellulitis, can lead to sepsis.
- Abdomen: Bowel problems, liver infections, gallbladder infections, appendix infections, and abdominal cavity infections can all lead to sepsis.
- Lungs: Pneumonia and other infections of the lungs can cause sepsis.
- Central nervous system: Brain and spinal cord infections can lead to developing sepsis.
- Urinary tract: Infections of the urinary tract can lead to sepsis and septic shock. These infections are even more likely to occur if a patient has a urinary catheter in place.
Sepsis Death Timeline
Because of the severity and fast-acting nature of sepsis, quick diagnosis and treatment are imperative to reduce a patient’s chances of death. There are three main stages of sepsis: sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. We outline these below.
Sometimes, it is difficult to diagnose sepsis while it is still in its early stages. However, there are certain telltale signs of sepsis infection, which we list below:
- A very high or very low body temperature (specifically, above 101℉ or below 96.8℉)
- Heart rate higher than 90 BPM
- Rapid breathing higher than 20 breaths per minute
- Other confirmed infections, such as bacterial, fungal, or viral infections
Before medical professionals confirm a sepsis diagnosis, they generally require at least two of the above symptoms to be present. This is because the symptoms are similar to many other conditions. However, the sooner someone receives treatment, the more likely they are to make a full recovery. Most patients who have their sepsis caught in this early stage fully recover.
If left untreated for too long, the second stage of sepsis sets in. Severe sepsis is generally diagnosed when organ dysfunction begins. This can very quickly become life-threatening.
The associated symptoms include:
- Lower output of urine
- Abnormal heartbeat
- A sudden change of mental state
- Confusion or unconsciousness
- Difficulty breathing
- Chills from a reduced body temperature
Severe-stage sepsis syndrome is often diagnosed after patients exhibit a low urine output. It is up to doctors to understand the signs and symptoms of serious illnesses before they are untreatable.
This is the third and most dangerous stage of sepsis. Septic shock, even with medical intervention, often involves low blood pressure and high levels of serum lactate. Serum lactate is often associated with severe inflammatory response syndrome.
While this stage has similar symptoms to the previous stage, it has a higher mortality rate. Approximately 30-50% of patients in septic shock die from its severity.
Even after a patient receives the appropriate treatment for their sepsis, the medical condition still has lingering effects in many cases. Post-sepsis syndrome is more common in those who spent a lot of time in hospitals or intensive care units.
The symptoms associated with post-sepsis syndrome are as follows:
- Hair loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Joint pain
- Loss or lack of appetite
- Renal failure
- Shortness of breath
- Arm and leg swelling
- Panic attacks
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Sepsis
Due to the fact that sepsis can originate from almost anywhere in the body, it has numerous symptoms. The most notable symptoms are the following:
- Hypothermia or fever
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Disorientation or confusion
- Chills or shaking
- Fast heart rate
- Sweaty or clammy skin
Who is at Risk for Sepsis?
While sepsis, septic shock, and other infections are a possibility for anyone, certain people are at a much higher risk for it than others:
- Very young people, very old people, or pregnant women
- Those with existing infections, medical conditions, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, and kidney disease
- Those with weakened immune systems
- People with serious injuries, such as open wounds or serious burns
- Patients who have IV lines, catheters, or breathing tubes
- Patients currently in the hospital
How is Sepsis Diagnosed?
Generally, doctors should seek a prompt diagnosis for sepsis, septic shock, and other serious infections. Delaying diagnosis or misdiagnosing sepsis can have severe consequences, including illness, septic shock, dangerously low blood pressure, or even death.
Below, we list the warning signs of sepsis that doctors should look for:
- Very high or very low white blood cell count
- Acidosis, which means having too much acid in the blood
- Abnormal liver or kidney function
- Blood tests and cultures that are positive for a sepsis infection
- Low platelet counts
Is Sepsis Medical Malpractice?
Not every case of sepsis qualifies as medical malpractice or medical negligence. Sepsis malpractice lawsuits generally require that your doctor failed to prevent, diagnose, or treat this condition.
Below, we list medical care mistakes that could lead a patient to develop sepsis:
- Failing to recognize an existing infection
- Failure in detecting sepsis infection
- Delaying in treating sepsis or other infections
- Failing to perform the right tests
- Not giving the patient the proper fluids
- Not giving the proper antibiotics to the patient
- Failing to properly clean IV lines and catheters
- Failing to inform the patient
- Not obtaining informed consent from the patient
If any of the above happened to a patient and they developed sepsis as a result, they likely have a valid sepsis lawsuit.
How Do I Know if I Have a Sepsis Malpractice Case?
We briefly explained what it takes to prove sepsis malpractice. However, much research goes into proving that septic shock, sepsis, or other infections are a direct result of medical malpractice. Our trial lawyers have extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases concerning nursing homes, emergency rooms, and other sources of malpractice.
This means that we are well-equipped to research your case by gathering medical records, determining whether or not a provider adhered to certain medical standards, and much more. Our medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case.
Compensation for Sepsis in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
If you and your attorney can prove that you have a case, you are entitled to financial recovery for your losses. However, it’s important to first understand what goes into valuing sepsis malpractice settlements. Insurance companies and hospitals will often fight tooth and nail to reduce the amount of the verdict or settlement. For this reason, you and your medical malpractice attorneys will need very strong evidence.
The first step in sepsis malpractice settlements is obtaining a definitive diagnosis of sepsis. However, there are sometimes delays in diagnosis that can greatly affect your case. Delays in diagnosis lead to delays in treatment, which can then increase the chance of death. These issues can often increase your settlement amount.
When medical negligence occurs, you have every right to file a lawsuit and recover damages. Sepsis is a serious issue, and if a doctor fails to properly treat it, the results can be catastrophic.
Sepsis Settlements After Death
Sepsis malpractice lawsuits after death often have higher verdict or settlement amounts than other cases. This is because losing a loved one can absolutely devastate the family members of patients. In general, the worse your case was, the higher your settlement might be. Additionally, cases in which the medical provider exhibited gross negligence are often valued more highly. The best way to understand the potential value of your case is to schedule a free initial consultation with our medical malpractice attorneys.
How a Sepsis Malpractice Settlement Can Help You
Taking legal action helps injured patients and their families in a multitude of different ways. If not treated properly, mere hours can be the difference between life or death in a sepsis case. If medical providers in a hospital or nursing home fail to care for you or a loved one properly, it could result in permanent injury or death.
This means mounting medical bills, a weakened immune system, and more. We aim to hold providers accountable for their negligence. Lawsuits are one way to do exactly that. Lipton Law holds doctors accountable based on the specifics of your case. Securing a recovery means you can pay off expensive medical bills, funeral and burial costs, lost income costs, and much more.
Southfield Sepsis Lawyers
The Michigan medical malpractice attorneys at Lipton Law are here for you and your family after this stressful experience. You can establish an attorney-client relationship with one of the best law firms in Michigan for medical malpractice cases.
We offer a free case evaluation and operate on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t accept a dime unless we secure a recovery for you. For more information, or to schedule your consultation, please call 248-557-1688 today.