If you have made the decision to place your loved one in a nursing home, you fully expect the residents of the facility to care for your family member adequately. However, there are times when nursing home staff members abuse or neglect residents. In some cases, the neglect of a nursing home resident could lead to sepsis. Here, we want to discuss what sepsis is, how it can occur in a nursing home, and whether or not you can sue a nursing home for sepsis.
What is Sepsis?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can see that sepsis is defined as the body’s “extreme response to an infection.” The CDC says that this is a life-threatening medical emergency, and can trigger a chain reaction throughout the body that causes significant harm to internal organs.
According to the CDC, there are certain people who face higher risks of sepsis than others, including the following:
Adults 65 and older
Any person with a weakened immune system
People with a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, lung disease, kidney disease, or cancer
What Causes Sepsis in a Nursing Home?
Unfortunately, nursing home residents face a higher risk of sepsis than others. Generally, nursing home residents are over the age of 65 and have pre-existing medical conditions that make them susceptible to sepsis.
In a nursing home setting, there are various ways that the negligence of the facility and the staff members could increase these risks, including the following:
Poor infection control. Staff members at a nursing home should always follow proper infection control protocols in order to prevent infections from spreading.
Failure to treat a wound. If a nursing home resident sustains any kind of wound, it must be treated properly. This includes regular dressing checks and changes as well as ensuring that the resident receives antibiotics.
Failure to diagnose or respond to an infection. It is not uncommon for nursing homes to fail to recognize, or even ignore, the signs and symptoms of an infection.
Suing a Nursing Home for Sepsis in a Resident
It is entirely possible to file a lawsuit against the nursing home if their negligence causes sepsis in a resident. Medical neglect is one of the main types of neglect that can occur in a nursing home setting. Medical neglect occurs anytime nursing home staff fails to provide the necessary medical care, treatment, or prevention protocols for conditions that affect elderly residents.
In order to properly file a lawsuit against the nursing home in these situations, there are various elements that need to be proven. This includes the following:
There was a duty of care established between the resident and the nursing home.
The nursing home breached its duty of care by failing to provide adequate treatment.
The nursing home resident suffered harm as a result of the breach of duty.
The nursing home resident suffered some sort of damages, including financial or non-financial losses.
Working With an Attorney
If your loved one developed sepsis while in a nursing home and you suspect that the negligence of the nursing home facility caused the massive infection, contact an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Fullerton nursing home abuse and neglect attorney in California will be able to investigate the claim and help ensure that you are treated fairly. Your attorney can use their resources to fully investigate the nursing home and staff member(s) in question to properly determine liability.