do you know enough about sepsis ii

Today, we’ll continue our previous discussion of sepsis, a very dangerous and potentially deadly complication of infection that results in well over 1.6 million hospitalizations across the nation every year.

Indeed, sepsis, which is frequently attributable to the failure to either diagnose or provide proper treatment, currently ranks as one of the leading causes of death here in the U.S.

I’ve heard sepsis is often classified as a “three-stage syndrome.” What does this mean?

The majority of physicians view sepsis as having three very distinct stages: mild sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock. As you might imagine, the goal is always to identify and treat the condition as early as possible — i.e., during the mild stage — as there is a far better likelihood of patient recovery.

That’s because as the patient’s condition deteriorates, or the sepsis worsens, blood flow to vital organs can be impaired or, even worse, blood clots can start to form in the organs and extremities, increasing the chances of gangrene or organ failure.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Medical experts indicate that a patient must typically have a minimum of two of the following four symptoms in order to be diagnosed with sepsis:

  • A confirmed or suspected infection
  • A respiratory rate measuring higher than 20 breaths per minute
  • A heart rate measuring higher than 90 beats per minute
  • A temperature below 96.8 F or above 101 F

Is it difficult to diagnose sepsis?

While the symptoms outlined above can be caused by other conditions/disorders, this shouldn’t preclude an accurate diagnosis when it comes to sepsis. Indeed, physicians have a multitude of tests at their disposal to help make this determination.

We will continue this discussion in our next post …

If your loved one passed away from sepsis and you believe that a failure to diagnose played a role, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about your options.

Source: The Mayo Clinic, “Sepsis,” Accessed Dec. 1, 2014; Sepsis Alliance, “Sepsis fact sheet,” Dec. 1, 2014

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