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Sepsis is a real danger for nursing home residents

When your parent reached a point where he or she needed care you could no longer provide, you began searching for a suitable nursing home that you felt would give your aging loved one the care he or she needs. You may visit as often as possible, but your family also needs you as well. For this reason, you cannot visit every day in order to ensure your parent is receiving the care you expected.

You could end up getting a phone call that your parent is in the hospital suffering from sepsis, which only occurs when there is already an underlying infection. How did this happen?

Common infections in older people

The immune system tends to naturally decline as you age, which means that your parent is more susceptible to infections now than in years prior. Any number of situations in a nursing home could lead to infection, and some of the more common ones seen in older people include those listed below:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Pressure sores or other skin sores
  • Infected bug bites
  • Infected teeth
  • Influenza, or flu

You may not know this, but one of the first symptoms of an infection in older people is confusion, disorientation, unusual behavior or some other change in mental status. Nursing home personnel should know this and watch for it. If your loved one does end up with one of the above or another infection, it could turn to sepsis, which could easily put your parent's life in jeopardy.

Sepsis ordinarily requires aggressive and quick treatment. Your parent may need to remain in the ICU and hospital for some time, and doctors cannot guarantee he or she will be the same afterward.

Did sepsis result from negligence?

The fact that your parent ended up in the hospital with sepsis means that someone failed to discover the infection before it progressed to this point. It's possible your parent did not receive the standard of care you expected. Sadly, nursing home negligence is not unusual regardless of income level.

An investigation into the circumstances that led to your parent's hospitalization for sepsis may reveal negligence on the part of the nursing home and its staff members. After all, their job is to look for these types of situations and address them. When the standard of care falls below an acceptable level, you may exercise the right to pursue compensation and attempt to hold the appropriate parties accountable. These cases get complex quickly, so it would be wise to consult with an experienced and compassionate attorney.

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