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What Causes Sepsis After a Surgery?

by The Beasley Firm  |  June 22, 2023  |  

Understanding Post-Surgery Sepsis and How It Is Caused

Although rare, a surprising number of people suffer a life-threatening condition known as sepsis. Sepsis is dangerous and can cause multiple organ failure. In some cases, it may prove fatal. Understanding its causes is critical to preventing it in the future.

At The Beasley Firm, LLC, we have been helping medical malpractice victims obtain compensation for their injuries for over 60 years. We have secured multiple record-setting verdicts for our clients, including one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in Pennsylvania’s history. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with sepsis after surgery, contact our office at (215) 866-2424 to schedule a free consultation. 

What Is Sepsis?

Contrary to popular belief, sepsis is not an infection but rather is your body’s response to a serious infection. It is considered life-threatening. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 1.7 million adults in the country develop sepsis each year. 

Sepsis is caused by an infection. In most cases, the infection is bacterial, but it can result from viral infections as well. In some instances, it can be the result of medical malpractice before, during, or after an operation. 

How Is Post-Operative Sepsis Caused?

Post-operative sepsis may be caused because of a surgical error or another form of medical malpractice. Sepsis after an operation may be the result of nearly any type of surgery and may start as a minor infection.

Common causes of postoperative sepsis that may be considered medical malpractice:

  • Perforation of the bowel
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Fluid build-up
  • Infections related to poorly sterilized equipment
  • Defective medical devices
  • Failure to diagnose an infection

Surgeons and other medical professionals must use a reasonable standard of care when treating patients. When they fail to timely diagnose an infection, use substandard treatment, or have a defective medical device, it can lead to catastrophic results. 

How Is Sepsis Diagnosed?

Sepsis is diagnosed by a medical professional. The doctor or nurse may run a series of tests to determine whether the sepsis has caused organ failure or entered the bloodstream. 

Signs and symptoms of sepsis include:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion, fatigue, or mental decline
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Redness at the incision site
  • Rapid heart rate

If you suspect that you have developed an infection after surgery, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Failure to treat even a simple infection can lead to sepsis or septic shock. Untreated, the condition can cause death.

What Is the Treatment for Sepsis?

A quick diagnosis and treatment will give you the best chance of making a full recovery after sepsis. Many times, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition. They may also need to help maintain blood flow to organs and remove any tissue that is damaged. 

Diagnosed with Sepsis After Surgery? Contact Our Office.

If you were diagnosed with sepsis after surgery, you should contact our office at (215) 866-2424 to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyers will help you get the results you deserve. Call now to get started.

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