When the human body is fighting an infection, the immune system responds proactively. While this is essential, it can result in side-effects such as inflammation all over the body and potential damage to both organs and body tissue. This is known as sepsis, and the results can be life-threatening if mistreated. That’s why early diagnosis and treatment is essential, with those cases that are identified within the first hour resulting in an 80% survival rate. The longer that sepsis is untreated, the lower the chances of survival. It can be difficult to claim for sepsis negligence, but if you wish to consider the option, then you should be clear about these essential factors.
Most common sepsis compensation claims
With the threat of illness, permanent injury, or even death as the result of mistreated sepsis, it is not uncommon for those that have been affected to seek financial compensation. Mistreated sepsis cases are, however, not always caused by clinical negligence, but if you or someone you know has suffered due to substandard medical treatment, diagnosis delays, or misjudged treatment options, then you may be entitled. Common cases include:
- Early discharge from treatment
- Lack of antibiotics
- Inappropriate treatment, such as failing to drain infected areas
- Inadequate treatment that is followed by early discharge from medical care
- Midwives who fail to treat newborns in the days following delivery
The Breach of Duty
No matter the preventative steps that the medical practitioner takes, it is still possible for sepsis to continue developing. That’s why it can be complicated to establish a breach of duty when it comes to seeking compensation in sepsis cases. The symptoms of sepsis can not only mimic less serious illnesses, but they can also be non-specific. That makes misdiagnosis a common issue, and that makes a breach of duty very challenging to determine. Consider these factors when assessing your medical injury claims:
- Do you have evidence that shows a patient not being referred to a hospital, or that they were discharged while still showing clear signs of sepsis symptoms?
- Did the medical facility take blood tests when the patient showed consistent symptoms?
- Were blood cultures taken, or was the patient given sufficient CT or MRI scans on the relevant parts of the body?
- Was the patient given adequate prophylactic or empiric antibiotic treatment?
- Were infections adequately drained or removed?
If you make a claim for medical negligence compensation for issues regarding sepsis, then you will need to show that the correct care and treatment would have resulted in a better outcome for the patient. This may require a variety of professional experts to offer their contributions and analyses. Causation can be very problematic to determine due to the difficulties in diagnosing sepsis, and the small time frame that it takes to become life-threatening or fatal.
How much can you claim?
The amount of compensation that you may receive if you can prove a breach of duty will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. This could range from payments of a few hundred pounds for those who suffer from prolonged pain or suffering, right up to millions of pounds in cases where the patient has suffered permanent physical or mental impairment. In cases where the patient has died due to medical negligence, factors such as the personal circumstances of the patient will be taken into account, with relationship status and the number of dependents the determining factor in deciding the total compensation amount that may be paid.
Sepsis cases can be traumatic for the patient and their families. If you believe that you have a case for claiming due to the mistreatment of sepsis, then you are advised to contact a medical solicitor as early as possible. Disputes will have a designated time limit in which to make your claim, so it is imperative that you start proceedings sooner rather than later.