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Can You Sue A Nursing Home For Sepsis?

Are you a victim of nursing home negligence? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help. Call us at (888) 424-5757.

Discuss your compensation claim with a Chicago, IL attorney who will protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.

According to the National Institutes of Health, sepsis and septic shock claimed more individuals’ lives every year than heart attacks, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Older adults are more likely to develop sepsis, especially those with comorbidities, existing infections, or decubitus ulcers.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says that nearly every bedsore is preventable when long-term caregivers follow established protocols for treating open wounds and infections.

Typically, sepsis results from negligence by assisted living facility employees and nursing home staff, leaving the victim in excruciating pain and near death.

Sepsis Infection Nursing Home Patient

Nursing Home Sepsis Infection

Sepsis in Nursing Homes

Nursing home residents with urinary tract infections, pressure sores, and decubitus wounds are highly susceptible to developing sepsis. Statistics show that newly admitted nursing home patients released from a hospital are most likely to develop sepsis due to a new surgical incision or open wound.

Sepsis is the body’s response, releasing toxic chemicals into the bloodstream to fight infection. Typically, sepsis develops in bedridden patients suffering from respiratory or infectious conditions, including UTIs (urinary tract infections), bed sores (skin wounds, pressure ulcers), or pneumonia.

According to the National Council on Aging, more than 1.5 million people are hospitalized every year due to sepsis, resulting in more than 250,000 deaths. Estimates reveal that between 30% and 40% of all nursing home patients that develop sepsis will not survive the condition.

Studies have shown that nearly every sepsis incident could have been prevented had the nursing staff follow the established protocols when providing a standard of care to a nursing home resident.

Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have established infection control measures that help prevent infection, bed sores, and sepsis.

However, the facility’s administration and staff members failing to follow federal and state guidelines expose the most vulnerable patients to sepsis due to their:

  • Age
  • Immobility
  • Comorbidities including existing infection
  • Weakened immune system

Older nursing home residents have an increased potential risk of developing sepsis, especially if they suffer from pneumonia or UTI (urinary tract infection).

Treating Sepsis, Decubitus Wound, UTI, and Septic Shock in Nursing Homes

Sepsis is typically the result of negligence in treating a decubitus wound, open sore, UTI (urinary tract infection), or pneumonia. The body’s inflammatory response often produces a rapid heart rate, increased body temperature, and excessive breathing.

Sepsis is often the response to negligent staff failing to treat an illness or bedsore in a nursing home or long-term care facility. The condition can be identified in various stages, from mild to near death.

The three stages of sepsis include:

  • Sepsis – Initially, the body will release toxins into the bloodstream to fight the signs of infection, increasing body temperature over 101°F, with quick breathing and over 90 heartbeats per minute
  • Severe Sepsis – Without immediate treatment, sepsis can degrade to severe Sepsis, causing infrequent urination, decreased platelet count, declining mental function, difficulty breathing, abnormal heart rate, and abdominal pain
  • Septic Shock – In its final stage, requiring immediate medical attention to avoid death, septic shock involves all of the symptoms listed above with shallow blood pressure

Sepsis can cause severe problems, including life-threatening damage to organ systems, including renal failure.

An accurate diagnosis is often required to identify sepsis other than outward signs and symptoms of the condition, including:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Visible signs of infection
  • Abnormal heartbeat and breathing
  • The unexpected decline in the patient’s mental state

Suing a Nursing Home for Sepsis

Any individual who contracted sepsis due to the nursing home staff’s negligent actions has the legal right to file a civil lawsuit, seeking compensation for their damages.

However, the victim, or their legal team, will need to prove the four negligence elements to resolve their case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.

These elements include:

  • The nursing home and staff members owed the victim a duty of care to ensure their health and well-being
  • That duty was breached through nursing home abuse, neglect, mistreatment, or intentional action
  • The victim suffered actual harm from the neglect or abuse
  • As a result of the breach, the individual has damages, including economic and non-economic losses

Many conditions that lead to sepsis become worse when the resident is transferred from the facility to a hospital for immediate, emergent care. Officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) claim that many of these transfers could have been avoided had the staff follow the established infection control program when providing care.

According to the Chicago Tribune website, hundreds of nursing homes throughout Illinois have faced stiff penalties, citations, and levied fines due to violations involving neglect, abuse, and mistreatment. Many of these cases involve a preventable urinary tract infection, decubitus ulcers, and festering surgical wounds that all lead to sepsis.

Do you suspect that your loved one suffered a preventable injury or died from preventable sepsis or septic shock?

If so, you likely have the right to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim’s merits.

Nursing Home Sepsis FAQs

Our Chicago nursing home injury attorneys recognize that you likely have many unanswered questions on filing a civil lawsuit against a nursing home where assisted living facility. Our law firm has answered some questions below. For more information, contact us today at (888) 424-5757.

Can You Sue a Nursing Home?

Every nursing home and its staff members have a legal obligation (duty of care) to ensure the resident’s safety, well-being, and health management. Any failure through negligence, mistreatment, or abuse could create a potential liability against all those involved.

Many nursing home residents and surviving family members file civil lawsuits against nursing homes seeking financial compensation for justice and to recover their damages. Every elderly sepsis injury resident and surviving family member can file a compensation case to hold each party responsible for the injury financially accountable.

Is Sepsis the Nursing Home’s Fault?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) states that nearly all life-threatening sepsis and septic shock cases could have been prevented had the problem been diagnosed early and treated promptly. Sepsis is often the result of medical negligence by the doctors and nursing home staff that should be held accountable.

How Long Do You Have To File a Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home?

Each state has a unique statute of limitation law that restricts the length of time any injured victim can file a civil lawsuit against a nursing facility. In Illinois, potential plaintiffs are restricted to two years from when they were injured or when the victim became aware of their injuries.

However, some contributing factors could extend that time based on the unique circumstances of each case. Contact a personal injury attorney to determine the length of time you have left to file a claim.

What Is the Average Settlement for Nursing Home Neglect?

According to data, the national average settlement for nursing home neglect cases is approximately $400,000. However, each case is different, as are the unique circumstances to prove what happened.

A competent attorney handling nursing home injury cases can help calculate the plaintiff’s claim value and how to build a lawsuit seeking maximum compensation from all parties responsible for causing the harm.

Hire a Sepsis Injury Attorney to Represent Your Loved One’s Compensation Case

Have you or a loved one suffered from nursing home negligence? Contact our nursing home infection lawyers to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights and legal options.

Contact the Cook County personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free case evaluation. Our law firm can determine your case’s merits to proceed with a personal injury claim.

Our nursing home abuse lawyer does not charge legal fees until after the compensation case is successfully resolved.

Every family member who lost a loved one through a preventable death can file wrongful death lawsuits for all damages, including medical bills, lost earnings, loss of consortium, funeral and burial expenses, pain, and suffering.

All information you and your loved ones share with our experienced Chicago attorneys remains private and confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Our Illinois law firm currently follows CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Covid-19 guidelines on social distancing to maintain everyone’s health.

Our practice areas include workplace injuries, car crashes, premises liability, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, product liability, and wrongful death. Our law office currently represents injured clients throughout Illinois in Cook County, Dupage County, Lake County, Peoria County, Sangamon County, Will County, Winnebago County, Aurora, Chicago, Joliet, Schaumburg, and Waukegan.

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