Can You Sue a Hospital if You Get Sepsis in Texas?
Sepsis is a dangerous health condition. In the past, sepsis was often deadly. Even with modern medical care and antibiotics, sepsis can still be incredibly difficult to treat and can cause serious health issues across multiple systems in your body. To avoid sepsis, doctors and nursing staff must properly monitor patients, especially post-op patients or patients being monitored for open wounds. If your medical team fails to diagnose sepsis or allows you to become septic because of negligent medical care, you could be entitled to sue the hospital and the medical staff involved. The Queenan Law Firm’s Arlington medical malpractice lawyers discuss what sepsis is, how people become septic, and how lawsuits can be filed against hospitals and doctors in Texas for complications involving infections and sepsis.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is a natural body response to serious infections or diseases in the body. While the response might be natural, it is actually incredibly dangerous and can be thought of as your immune system overreacting to an infection and starting to harm itself. Viruses, bacteria, or other infections and illnesses can cause a patient to become septic, potentially leading to additional health issues.
One of the most common – and most serious – complications with sepsis is septic shock. When your body goes into septic shock, your blood pressure drops and your blood stops picking up oxygen properly, which can lead to death if your blood isn’t circulating properly and carrying oxygen to your organs. Other symptoms of septic shock can include chills, high heart rate, confusion, sweating, fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and more. All of these symptoms, combined with the fact that your body is already taxed from fighting illness or injury, can take a toll on the system, leading to death in many untreated cases. If you got sepsis or septic shock, contact our Arlington, TX lawyer for injury from a hospital infection.
How Does Sepsis Happen in Hospitals in Texas? Are Hospitals Responsible?
Sepsis can happen to a patient in a hospital for many potential reasons, some of which are tied to the quality of treatment they receive and some of which are not. In either case, the hospital’s medical staff could become a factor in your outcome, and additional harm that they allow to happen could become cause for a malpractice lawsuit with the help of a Fort Worth medical malpractice attorney.
Failing to Prevent Infections
As mentioned, sepsis is a natural body response. This means it is sometimes difficult to prevent, and doctors and nurses should take steps to help keep patients from becoming septic if they are at risk. In many cases, this means that patients who have an injury or a surgical site that is likely to become infected should be treated with prophylactic antibiotics to avoid infection (thus reducing the risk of sepsis). It also means keeping the patient and their hospital room clean to help avoid the risk of contracting a hospital-acquired infection. If the care providers fail to follow reasonable protocols and the patient gets an infection, this could constitute medical negligence or malpractice.
Failing to Prevent Sepsis
If a patient already has an infection, which could be part of the reason they came to the hospital in the first place, then the medical team should do what they can to treat the infection and improve the patient’s condition to help avoid sepsis. This might mean treating a patient with antivirals, antibiotics, or other therapeutics to bring down their fever and deal with other symptoms to prevent sepsis. If the patient becomes septic, this complication could be the result of negligence or just a severe condition that is difficult to treat, depending on the circumstances.
Failing to Prevent Septic Shock
If the patient is already septic when they get to the hospital, there may be fewer options that the care providers have at their disposal. As with treating an infection, the medical team should administer antibiotics, fluids, and other things to try to help get the patient out of sepsis and avoid septic shock. Failing to take the necessary steps to treat the patient could constitute negligence.
Failure to Diagnose
If medical personnel fail to properly diagnose infections, sepsis, or septic shock, your condition could get worse without proper treatment. These failed diagnoses can be the hospital and healthcare providers’ fault even if they did not contribute to the initial condition.
Suing a Hospital for Complications Involving Sepsis and Septic Shock in Texas
If you or a loved one was treated at a hospital and had complications involving a serious infection or illness leading to sepsis or septic shock, you should speak to our Houston medical malpractice lawyers to find out if you could be entitled to file a lawsuit. In many cases, sepsis and even septic shock cannot be avoided, even with diligent medical treatment. However, when doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel make mistakes, these care providers and the hospital as a whole could be responsible.
We have already discussed some of the ways that your care provider’s mistakes or failures could lead to sepsis and septic shock, but there are other considerations to look into regarding whether they can be held responsible for these mistakes. Many medical complications are an expected part of treatment, and medical science is limited in what it can do to help people. Sometimes a caregiver’s mistakes are reasonable even if they lead to complications. However, any doctor, nurse, or other provider who makes unreasonable mistakes can be held responsible for this kind of “negligent” care.
If your care providers were hospital employees or the mistakes that led to your sepsis complications were caused by unclean environments or hospital-acquired infections, the hospital can usually be the target of a medical malpractice lawsuit alongside the individuals who treated you.
Call Our Arlington Medical Malpractice Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one suffered from sepsis or septic shock because of negligent medical care at a hospital in Texas, you should speak with an attorney. The Queenan Law Firm’s Arlington, TX personal injury lawyer can help you determine, based on the specific facts of your case, whether the care you received was negligent and what kinds of compensation you might be entitled to. For a free legal consultation, call our Texas personal injury lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.