The tragic death of Rory Staunton prompted the legal system in his state to take a closer look at the medical malpractice laws in the country. This little boy developed a minor cut after a basketball game in 2012. What began as a minor cut ended in a bout of sepsis that a doctor overlooked, tragically ending the young boy’s life and causing outrage in his community and surrounding communities in his state. What began in New York City Medical Center’s emergency department ended in a misdiagnosis and Roroy’s death from sepsis. His parents were never notified of his condition by the hospital, another outrageous oversight by doctors assuming the boy was only suffering from a stomachache.
Several changes came about because of this tragic death. One of these changes explicitly states that hospitals treat sepsis as the urgent matter it is instead of putting it on the back burner and assuming that just because a victim may be younger, they’re going to “pull through.” Like Rory, many children do not pull through sepsis and do indeed die because of negligent medical care. Sepsis and Septic shock are always urgent matters, and if you have a doctor or hospital who didn’t treat your case of sepsis in the rapid manner they should have, you very likely have a good chance of winning a lawsuit. That is, you can win your lawsuit if you have the right legal team behind you.
While Rory’s case prompted local changes, none of the changes have been adopted nationwide. It’s our fervent hope that they will be. Due to the fact that many people die every year from treatable cases of sepsis, it’s an outrage that no one has gone to war for the victims of these cases yet. Well, the good news is that you have an eager, aggressive team of lawyers in Chicago who will now go to war for you in a courtroom if you’ve suffered from medical malpractice over a case of sepsis (or any other medical issue).
Just in case you don’t know a lot about sepsis, here are a few quick facts you need to know:
– With sepsis, bacteria enters the body and gets into the bloodstream
– It doesn’t have to be a severe injury for germs to get into your bloodstream
– The body releases chemicals to try to destroy the invading germs, and that’s what causes a case of sepsis or septic shock
– Kidneys, bowels, brain, lungs, skin, and liver can all be affected by sepsis
This information is from the National Institute of Health, a highly respected organization that tries to inform the public on health matters such as sepsis and septic shock. Doctors should also know about sepsis and septic shock to the extent that they do not ignore a case of sepsis like it’s not serious. Sepsis is serious! A doctor ignoring this fact can very easily cause a death like Rory’s to destroy a family’s confidence in the medical system and rob the world of another life.
Symptoms of sepsis are usually very noticeable. Delirium, chills, heavy breathing, confusion, rapid heartbeat, a skin rash, dizziness, and low blood pressure are all symptoms of sepsis, and they should always be looked at immediately. Sepsis can also be readily diagnosed from blood work that shows the presence of an infection in the bloodstream (as indicated by a particular white blood cell count). For example, if someone has sepsis, they may have a WBC greater than 12,000 or less than 4,000 or less than 10% bands (left shift is also an indication). It’s a complex series of symptoms that no human being should have to tell a doctor about. Sepsis shouldn’t be diagnosed as a stomach ache and then ignored, like it was in Rory’s case. Ultimately, it’s a blood test that is going to confirm sepsis.
Once you’re diagnosed with this life-threatening condition, your doctor and hospital should spring into action. Patients are going to need lots of fluids, antibiotics, and maybe even oxygen because of some of the symptoms of the disease. If someone has failing kidneys, dialysis is started. The result of not treating sepsis is going to be organ failure and death. If a doctor fails to recognize the life-threatening nature of this disease, even a young child might die from it. The elderly will be especially susceptible to septic shock and death from the condition. Remember that any type of infection can get into the bloodstream and result in the death of a person you love.
How serious is sepsis? Well, 10% of overall ICU admissions are for sepsis. That’s how life-threatening and serious it is, and yet some doctors, especially if it’s a younger patient they’re treating, will not treat this matter with all the urgency it requires. And that’s a tragedy every single time it happens. Sepsis can be treated! If your hospital or doctor failed to treat your sepsis and damage resulted, a lawyer should immediately be called when you’re able. If one of your loved ones died of sepsis and you suspect it’s because of negligence on the part of the hospital, our team of lawyers can step in and fight for you. You can fill out our form for a free consultation or simply call Zayed Law Offices at (815) 205-5574.