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Failure to identify and treat sepsis (septicaemia)

The UK Sepsis Trust confirms that there are more than 250,000 cases of sepsis in the UK each year and that sepsis kills more people in the UK each year than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined.  The Trust advocates that with better awareness, more than 14,000 deaths and many more permanent life-changing injuries in the UK would be avoided each year – key components being earlier recognition and treatment.

The elderly, children and those who are already unwell or undergoing surgical procedures are particularly vulnerable to sepsis. We have acted for many families where sepsis has occurred in the early neonatal period following delivery of their child, causing brain damage.

In 2016 NICE produced new guidelines regarding the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis and over the last few years the government has supported an awareness campaign to help reduce the incidence of sepsis by identifying the illness as early as possible.

Symptoms of sepsis

Sepsis can be difficult to diagnose given the differing symptoms which may be linked to the condition. For this reason it’s important that health professionals are always alert to the possibility of a sepsis diagnosis which, if overlooked, can change lives permanently.

Symptoms can include those similar to the common cold or flu such as a high or low temperature, chills, breathlessness, confusion and a fast heartbeat.

Your medical team should be on high alert to “Think Sepsis” whenever there is concern and follow the “Sepsis 6” protocol which is to provide oxygen, fluids, antimicrobials, take blood cultures, check the blood count and assess urine output within 1 hour of diagnosis.  Failure to do so may amount to negligent care.

Why bring a claim

Early treatment can significantly reduce the risk of death and complications.  If you have lost a loved one or suffered long-term injury due to sepsis that was not diagnosed or treated swiftly then you may be able to pursue a claim for damages.

Damages will provide financial support for you or your family through a difficult period of time. Where you have long-term health issues, compensation helps you reach the best recovery possible and provides support for you in the future.

How we can help

We have developed a specialist meningitis and sepsis team who have successfully acted for many families who have been through the same as you. We will ensure we achieve the best outcome for you and your family irrespective of the complications that have arisen. Using our experience we can carefully review the sequence of events and your medical records to advise further on pursuing a claim for damages on your behalf.

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