The Long-Term Consequences of Sepsis in Nursing Home Patients

The decision to move your loved one to a nursing home can be difficult. However, their physical or mental condition may have deteriorated to the point where it is no longer safe for them to live on their own and they need assistive and constant care. In many cases, these scenarios involve elderly relatives. They may be bed-ridden or need a wheelchair to get around. In addition, they could require help eating, bathing, and doing everyday tasks. Sadly, nursing home residents can suffer from neglect and abuse at the hands of those who are entrusted to take care of them. Although infections are fairly common among patients in any assisted living or long-term care facility, they can also turn into a life-threatening condition known as sepsis.

Significant Damage 

Sepsis, also referred to as blood poisoning, is a condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and causes organs to function poorly and abnormally. Sepsis typically develops as a result of bedsores, which are sores caused by pressure from lying in bed in the same position for an extended period of time. However, there are other causes of sepsis, such as untreated urinary tract infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and burns, to name a few. Early diagnosis and treatment such as antibiotics and IV fluids improve a patient’s chance of survival. Signs or symptoms, such as confusion or rapid breathing
Long-term effects of sepsis may also complicate any preexisting medical conditions, making it harder for elderly residents to fully recover. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), additional long-term effects can include: 

  • Organ damage
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression
  • Limb amputations
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Death

Negligent Care 

Nursing home management is responsible for properly vetting employees, which often includes conducting a thorough background check to make sure potential employees do not have a criminal record. However, when facilities are understaffed, residents can be neglected or even abused. This abuse can be physical, sexual, or emotional. Also, when a nurse or doctor does not check on patients regularly, they may not notice symptoms of infections or illnesses to promptly treat the infection. By the time they do realize a person is in trouble, sepsis may have already set in.  

Contact a Tennessee Personal Injury Attorney

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect occur more often than people think. If your relative has suffered minor to serious injuries under the care of medical professionals, you may want to seek damages on their behalf. The knowledgeable Chattanooga personal injury lawyers from Warren & Griffin, P.C. have proven success in securing fair compensation for clients who may be vulnerable, such as the elderly. Call us today at 423-265-4878 to arrange a confidential consultation. We are available 24/7.