The cause of Sepsis is the body’s response to an infection and can potentially be a life-threatening condition. To fight infection the body will naturally release chemicals into the bloodstream, however, sepsis then can occur when the response the body has to these chemicals is not correct or causes unbalance. Therefore, the body is led to overreact to the release of these infection-fighting chemicals which prompts an embellished inflammatory reaction – this can sometimes trigger changes that can cause damage to organs by cutting off the oxygen supply. This can result in blood clots and worst-case induce the victim into septic shock which is life-threatening.
So, is Sepsis in nursing homes common? Sepsis can be particularly common in nursing homes as individuals with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, are a lot more susceptible to sepsis as it can also stem from neglect which can highlight abuse is occurring in that specific home. Failing to treat and prevent common infections such as UTI infections, bedsores and cuts put the elderly residents at a high risk of sepsis.
Also, unwashed clothing or bed linen, unclean bathrooms, activity rooms, and other facility areas increase the risk of sepsis. Due to the implications that this stems from abuse and negligence, whether someone you know is a nursing home contracted sepsis or even simply put at higher risk you may be able to fight this in court and be entitled to compensation through an abuse or negligence lawsuit.
Sepsis if not treated successfully can lead to severe disability, organ failure, and even death. For the best chance of recovery, it is essential that symptoms of sepsis are caught early in the individual and treated with antibiotics and monitored. More serious conditions will require more intense measures such as dialysis, surgery or a variety of different medications.
Symptoms of sepsis include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Unable to speak correctly or slurring of words
- Unable to breathe
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Feelings of disorientation and confusion
- Intense muscle pain
- Unable to urinate as much as normal
- Pale, mottled or clammy and cold skin
- Losing consciousness
To diagnose Sepsis it can be done with simple measurements such as testing the patient’s heart, breathing rate and also temperature but a blood test may also be advised. Tests that determine the type of sepsis, which bodily functions are affected and where the actual infection is located would include a wound culture (a sample of the infected tissue will be taken for testing), blood pressure tests, stool or urine samples and imaging studies such as ultrasound or CT scan or an X-ray.
An unfortunate statistic states that each year 25,000 nursing home residents that have contracted sepsis pass away on the transfer to a hospital. Another statistic states that 72% of nursing homes in the U.S have been shown to not adhere or even have an infection-control program, obviously hugely spiking the risk of sepsis in their homes. There is an estimation that up to half of all individuals that get sepsis will not survive even with advanced treatment.