By its very nature, sepsis is an overwhelming infection that occurs throughout the body. If unrecognized and untreated, it can lead to death. Today's Newsday report discusses research published for the first time saying that sepsis patients had a threefold higher risk for developing cognitive problems such as forgetfulness, new physical limitations and often persistent disability.

The article correctly points out that “Unless antibiotics and life support are delivered quickly, the condition can lead to organ failure and death."

When that happens, that's typically when I get a call from a family member asking if they have a valid case because their loved one has died from sepsis. This has been known to occur during abdominal surgery where the surgeon fails to recognize that a hole has been made in the intestines or bowel. As a result of an unrecognized bowel injury during surgery, the contents of the bowel leak into the abdomen causing an inflammation of the peritoneal cavity, known as peritonitis. The offensive fecal material then causes a localized infection which then spreads throughout the body to become sepsis.

If unrecognized and untreated, the patient will die. An autopsy result is usually helpful to establish where the offending bowel injury occurred as the precipitating factor for the source of the massive infection.

Those patients who survived, according to these researchers, have significant physical disabilities.

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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