Important Evidence in a Florida Sepsis Malpractice Claim
Sepsis is linked to any infection that progresses to life-threatening health issues, but it is an unfortunately common occurrence in hospitals, health clinics, and related facilities. Sepsis-related medical conditions are a particular concern in nursing homes and assisted living centers, where staff typically handles bodily fluids multiple times per day – and may not properly sanitize equipment. Kaiser Health News (KHN), an online news resource that reports on health care policy, points out the troubling incidence of sepsis in nursing home environments: Of residents who were transferred to a hospital with sepsis, approximately one in five died because of related infection.
Another concern regarding sepsis-related ailments in assisted living facilities is that residents often cannot express their symptoms or discomfort. Loved ones must often speak up to demand action, but they are also in the position to gather key proof for a medical malpractice claim. Though your Florida sepsis and septic shock malpractice attorney will take the lead, you might want to know what types of evidence are important to a claim.
Be Alert for Symptoms of Sepsis or Septic Shock: When an infection moves through the bloodstream, it can begin to affect internal organs at an alarming rate. The elderly can be vulnerable due to already-weakened health status and medical conditions that come with age. Keep an eye out if your loved one suffers any of the following symptoms:
- High fever, at or above 101 degrees;
- Low body temperature, at or below 95 degrees;
- Elevated heart rate, at or above 90 beats per minute;
- Rapid breathing, at or above 20 breaths per minute;
- Distressed or difficulty breathing;
- Extreme drop in blood pressure;
- Abdominal pain;
- A change in mental state, which can be difficult to evaluate for individuals with dementia; and,
- Other unusual signs.
If you note any of these symptoms, it is critical to get proper care for the resident. His or her health could deteriorate rapidly, so emergency treatment may be necessary.
Types of Evidence in Sepsis Malpractice Claims: Once the individual’s health stabilizes, you should consult with an attorney regarding next steps; the same is true in the unfortunate event that your loved one passed away from sepsis or septic shock. Among the first tasks is gathering essential evidence from the nursing home, so your lawyer will assist in obtaining:
- Resident medical records, which can reveal the first signs of infection and how staff responded;
- Staffing logs that show how many people were working each shift, a key detail that can prove understaffing;
- Organizational policies and procedures regarding infection control, sanitization and sterilization practices, and other information;
- Maintenance logs showing when employees changed linens, cleaned bathrooms and common areas, and other infection prevention; and,
- Witness statements from those who may have observed misconduct that led to sepsis.
Speak to Our Florida Sepsis Malpractice Lawyers About Evidence Issues
From the above, you can see how important it is to have solid evidence to support a claim for a sepsis medical malpractice. For more information on your rights and the legal process, please contact the Miami medical malpractice lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation at our offices.