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What Causes Sepsis?

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 24th, 2010
The Severity of Sepsis Infection
 
Sepsis is a serious infection of the bloodstream. Though it can develop when the body is fighting a severe infection, it may also be the direct result of negligence or medical malpractice. The illness can originate from any site of infection, including pneumonia, urinary tract infection and open wounds caused by cellulitis, a skin infection, or bed sores. If not treated in a timely and appropriate manner, this medical condition can result in death. 
 
What Causes Sepsis?
 
A sepsis infection is often caused by toxin-producing bacteria. When the body is unable to combat the infection, the bacteria continues to propagate, spreading to the tissues and bloodstream. Because their immune system is not fully developed, infants especially are at high risk for this illness. Infants with an infection may have symptoms such as fever, lethargy, sudden change in behavior, difficulty feeding and unusual rashes. Those born prematurely may also lack the antibodies needed to protect them from certain forms of bacteria. This is why it is so important to ensure that newborns are kept in a sterilized environment away from bacteria that could lead to serious infection in hospital. 
 
In most cases, sepsis is caused by microbes, mainly bacteria. Viruses and various types of fungi have also been known to cause this infection. Group B streptococcus, often referred to as strep,
is the most common cause of infection among infants. It can also cause pneumonia and meningitis in newborns. A person who develops group B strep as an infant is susceptible to a range of permanent conditions, including problems with hearing, speech or vision as well as mental retardation. In a worse case scenario where the illness is not treated properly and timely, group B strep can result in death. 
 
The good thing is that group B strep can often be prevented. For example, if a pregnant mother is found to carry the bacteria, she can be administered antibiotics during labor to prevent passing it on to the newborn. Sepsis that occurs from a bacteria infection in hospital is usually caused by a staph infection known as coagulase negative staphylococcus. In addition, several precautions can be taken by the family and medical staff to keep the infant from contracting a sepsis infection. If these measures are not taken, the medical staff or even the entire hospital may be held liable.
 
Evaluating Your Case
 
It is up to medical personnel to take the proper precautions during delivering and keep newborns in a clean, sterile environment throughout their stay in the hospital. If not, they could be held responsible for any infections or illnesses the child develops. When putting together a case, it is imperative to determine what caused a sepsis infection in order to conclude if it could have been prevented. If this is something you or your child is suffering with and you suspect that it was caused by medical malpractice, contact us at 1-800-ATTORNEY or complete our online form for a free case evaluation.We will have one of our Dallas medical malpractice attorneys assess your case and hopefully help you get some cloisure.