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Can You Sue for Sepsis in Nursing Homes?

Nursing home residents have an elevated risk of developing sepsis. Sepsis is life-threatening, and often fatal.

Victims who contract sepsis in nursing-home care may wonder if the nursing home is liable. Our lawyers for sepsis in nursing homes explain.

Can Someone Sue for Sepsis in a Nursing Home?

It may be possible to sue for sepsis in a nursing home if the condition results from nursing home negligence or medical malpractice. A lack of monitoring and improper follow-up care for an infection may cause sepsis to develop. If the condition can be tied to negligence of the nursing home facility or medical care providers, it may be possible to sue for sepsis in a nursing home.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a response to infection in the body. It occurs when the body is unable to fight an infection in the normal way. The body’s attempts to fight the infection are damaging to itself. Organs function improperly and inefficiently.

Sepsis is a dangerous, life-threatening condition. It may progress to septic shock and cause organ failure and death. Sepsis can result from any infection in the body, no matter where in the body it is located. Worldwide, sepsis has a fatality rate of about 33%.

Source: Mayo Clinic, Sepsis; CDC, What is sepsis?

Sepsis as a Basis for Nursing Home Negligence

There are multiple ways that a party may be liable when a nursing home resident develops sepsis:

  1. A healthcare provider should provide adequate care instructions for the patient. When the person is discharged from the hospital to the nursing home, the hospital should provide adequate instructions for the patient’s care. The instructions they provide should be actionable, including both day-to-day follow-up care and monitoring for problematic symptoms.
  2. The nursing home should follow the healthcare provider’s care instructions. They should provide adequate monitoring of the patient and any necessary follow-up care. If the nursing home is unable to provide this care, they should say so, and alternative arrangements should be made.
  3. When a person has received medical care, and signs of sepsis arise, care providers and nursing home facilitators should see that the person receives the appropriate medical attention within a reasonable amount of time.
  4. Regardless of what other medical attention a person may receive, a nursing home resident should receive appropriate routine care in the home so as not to develop an infection and sepsis. If sepsis results from the conditions at the facility, the nursing care facility may be liable for negligence.

The nursing home and the person’s direct healthcare providers may be liable if a resident develops sepsis. Our nursing home lawyers can help you investigate what has happened and determine who may have legal fault.

Court Case for Sepsis Against Nursing Home

Nugent v. Highland Pines, G.P., Inc. NO. 12-18-00325-CV (Tex. App. Apr. 24, 2019)

In the Nugent case, the victim suffered a hip fracture. They had surgery. They were placed in a nursing home after the surgery. There, they developed a bed sore. 

Later, the infection turned to sepsis and necrotizing fasciitis. The resident later died. The victim’s estate representative sued the nursing home. The appeals court reversed a trial court order for summary disposition in favor of the defendants, allowing the claim to proceed on the merits.

Do I have a legal claim for sepsis in a nursing home?

Whether you have a legal claim for sepsis in a nursing home depends on the reason that the sepsis developed. Was the sepsis the likely result of inadequate healthcare or personal attention? If so, it may be the basis for a negligence or medical malpractice claim. 

On the other hand, if sepsis was the unfortunate result of adequate medical care, there’s probably no legal claim. That makes it critical to understand why the sepsis occurred and whether reasonable precautions were taken to avoid it.

Nursing Home Lawsuits Involving Sepsis

The nursing home negligence lawyers at Bobby Jones Law are prepared to help you investigate your case. We explore every avenue to hold the nursing home accountable and pursue justice when your loved one develops sepsis while in nursing care. Contact us for additional information and consultation about your specific situation.

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