If a North Carolina patient begins to show signs of sepsis, he or she could potentially be facing a life-threatening condition. Since it can be difficult to diagnose sepsis, it is important that doctors, patients and their families be able to identify the condition so the necessary treatment can be administered as soon as possible.
The symptoms associated with sepsis can vary widely. Some patients, for example, experience abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea. However, these indicators can be linked to many other conditions, leading to misdiagnoses and the wrong treatment plans being prescribed. However, patients and families may be able to help doctors identify sepsis earlier by being extra vigilant about the signs and symptoms of infection. If anything appears out of the ordinary, they should alert the doctor.
If left untreated, sepsis can lead to organ failure, tissue damage and even death, so early detection is essential. If a doctor does identify sepsis in a patient, he or she should immediately order tests to determine where the infection is occurring and its cause. Physicians should then prescribe the appropriate antibiotics and continue to monitor their patients' well-being. The medication should be adjusted as needed.
If hospital staff fails to diagnose sepsis in a patient and it leads to a worsened condition or even death, the patient's family may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the hospital. An attorney may argue that hospital negligence resulted in the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, resulting in serious harm to the patient. A lawyer may then seek compensation for his or her clients for the additional medical costs and any other damages that they may have sustained. These cases are generally settled out of court, though the attorney may represent the family if it does go to trial.