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A Closer Look at Sepsis in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are a place where elderly loved ones should be taken care of and not neglected. When an elderly resident of a nursing home gets an infection, he or she should be treated by a medical professional. Unfortunately, nursing home workers often neglect to give nursing home residents proper medical attention. As a result, an elderly resident may suffer from an infected bed sore or undiagnosed infection, which could lead to sepsis.

What Is Sepsis?

Sepsis is the result of a complication from an infection. Any type of infection can cause sepsis—such as bacteria, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, kidney infection, or meningitis. Unfortunately, elderly nursing home residents are at higher risk of getting sepsis because their immune systems are generally weak or compromised. Typically, a healthy body will be able to respond to an infection, or at least fight the infection with the help of antibiotics. However, when the body isn’t able to fight an infection off, the infection can spread in the blood. This causes inflammation throughout the body and is a major health concern.

Just How Serious Is Sepsis?

Sepsis can be life-threatening because it can cause the body to shut down. This is especially true of elderly nursing home residents with weaker immune systems. Sadly, sepsis can lead to septic shock, which can cause death. This is why nursing home workers need to catch sepsis in its early stages so that elderly residents can be treated and survive.

Symptoms of Sepsis include:

  • 101.3 degree Fahrenheit fever or higher, or a temperature below 95 degrees
  • Over 90 beats per minute heart rate or heart pumping issues
  • More than 20 breaths per minute and trouble breathing
  • Inability to urinate or a reduction in urine output
  • Abdominal pain
  • Quick change in a person’s mental state

If nursing home workers fail to catch these aforementioned warning signs of sepsis, it can reduce an elderly individual’s chance of surviving. When sepsis isn’t diagnosed or treated in its earliest stage, an elderly nursing home resident can go into septic shock.

If your elderly mother, father, or other relative suffered from sepsis or septic shock at a nursing home in the Sarasota area, the nursing home might be negligent. To learn about your rights to a nursing home neglect lawsuit, order a free copy of our book, The Florida Nursing Home Abuse Handbook.