What is sepsis/septicaemia?

Sepsis, sometimes referred to as septicaemia or blood poisoning, is a common and potentially life threatening condition triggered by an infection, in which the body’s immune system goes into overdrive. It leads to widespread inflammation, swelling and blood clotting and a significant decrease in blood pressure which can ultimately result in multiple organ failure and even death.

The risk of developing sepsis is higher for hospital patients, especially if they have recently undergone surgery or have a urinary catheter fitted. It is a particular risk for those who are in the hospital due to another serious illness, as their immune system will already be compromised.

The importance of diagnosing and treating sepsis early

If sepsis is detected in the early stages and has not had time to damage vital organs, it is often possible to treat it with the simple use of antibiotics. However, if it is not diagnosed early enough and becomes severe, this becomes a far more serious problem and is fatal in four out of ten cases. This figure goes up to six out of ten for patients who develop septic shock.

The primary treatment of sepsis – even in more serious cases – is antibiotics which should be administered within an hour of diagnosis, sometimes intravenously, to reduce the risk of serious complications or death. If the source of infection can be found, this will also need to be treated (eg. draining pus from an infected wound). Other treatments can include:

●    corticosteroids or insulin medication
●    blood transfusion
●    mechanical ventilation
●    dialysis

Claiming compensation for delays in diagnosing sepsis

The medical negligence team at CH Legal has substantial experience of helping clients who have suffered from the misdiagnosis, mistreatment or delayed diagnosis and treatment of sepsis/septicaemia to claim compensation. Our expert lawyers can advise you on your legal position and pursue your case on your behalf. To find out how we can help you, contact Rukhsana Arif or phone 0845 4786 354.