Imagine feeling under the weather. You might develop a fever or pain that is out of the ordinary. After hours of waiting to see if you’ll start to feel better, you realize that you’re only getting worse.
So, you go to the hospital emergency room for tests. There, it takes hours to get into a room, and then the blood tests are delayed. The initial medical provider dismisses your concerns and tells you to come back later, even though you’ve expressed that your pain is worsening and that your fever is higher than it was just hours before.
Since you can’t stay at the hospital, you’ll probably go home for the night. Like many patients, you may also wake up feeling much worse with symptoms like swelling and severe chills. Once you start having trouble breathing and feel confused, you end up back in the emergency room. What with? An infection that now has turned into sepsis.
What is sepsis?
Sepsis is better known as blood poisoning, and it’s a common problem that occurs when bacteria seeps into the blood and spreads around the body. Normally, sepsis is diagnosed with a blood test, but it can also come on quickly if an infection of another kind isn’t treated soon enough. For example, if your pain was because of an untreated urinary tract infection or kidney infection, that infection may have spread to your blood.
A delayed diagnosis of another kind of infection can lead to sepsis, and sepsis can be fatal. That’s why early treatment for infections is so important.
Sepsis is preventable if infections are identified early and treated appropriately. If a medical provider did not correctly diagnose an issue like a kidney infection, UTI, ovarian cyst rupture, appendicitis or other serious condition, then that condition may go on to cause sepsis due to the delayed diagnosis and lack of treatment.
If you develop sepsis due to another underlying illness and delayed diagnosis, you may be able to pursue a claim against your medical provider. There is no excuse for missing common infections and failing to treat a patient to prevent sepsis.