September is Sepsis Awareness Month. Sepsis is a condition that can have devastating consequences if not diagnosed and treated promptly, even when it occurs in adults or children who are usually well. It is important, therefore, to raise awareness regarding sepsis with the general public and, crucially, within the medical profession.
What is sepsis and who does it affect?
The UK Sepsis Trust states: ‘Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury. Normally our immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons we don’t yet understand, it attacks our body’s own organs and tissue. If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.”
The UK Sepsis Trust estimates that sepsis kills 52,000 people per year in the UK. Their website provides information about the symptoms of sepsis in adults and children.
Sepsis and clinical negligence
As solicitors specialising in medical negligence, Kingsley Napley acts for patients and their families in cases related to the treatment of infections and sepsis. The effects of a delay in diagnosis or incorrect medical treatment for sepsis may lead to permanent disabilities (such as limb amputation or brain injury) or, in some tragic cases, the death of a patient.
Examples of situations in which a clinical negligence claim relating to sepsis might be considered include:
- Incorrect treatment for an infection, which goes on to cause sepsis
- Serious illness in babies during the neonatal period related to the management of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection
- Delay in diagnosing peritonitis (infection in the abdomen) following an operation
- Death or serious injuries otherwise caused by infection and/or sepsis, while the patient is under medical care
If you would like to discuss a possible clinical negligence claim related to infection or sepsis please contact one of our Medical Negligence & Personal Injury lawyers on 020 7814 1200, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Suzanne Farg specialises in clinical negligence and has experience of a wide range of claims including those relating to complex injuries (such as neurological damage and cerebral palsy) and claims against private healthcare providers.