Sepsis claims

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Chambers UK
Clinical Negligence

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Sepsis, also known as septicaemia or blood poisoning, is a serious reaction to an infection or injury such as appendicitis, meningitis, peritonitis, flu, pneumonia or post-surgical infection. If it is not treated quickly, sepsis can be life threatening and result in long-term health complications. Unfortunately, delays in diagnosis or misdiagnoses sometimes occur; in these cases our specialist solicitors may be able to help you bring a sepsis negligence claim.

Although sepsis can affect anyone, certain people are more vulnerable such as the very young, the very old, pregnant women, and patients with lower immune systems such as those undergoing chemotherapy treatment or with medical conditions such as diabetes. Symptoms in adults include slurred speech, confusion, extreme shivering or muscle pain, passing no urine, severe breathlessness and skin mottling or discolouration. Children can experience vomiting, fast breathing, fitting or seizures and may not feed properly.

Patients with sepsis can deteriorate very quickly, especially young children, which is why sepsis is considered a medical emergency and there are strict guidelines which must be followed as soon as someone is suspected of having the condition. If clinicians fail to recognise or treat sepsis in accordance with the guidelines, this can have acute, life-changing consequences such as organ failure, serious disability, amputation and even death.

Our experienced team of sepsis negligence solicitors regularly handle a wide range of compensation claims resulting from sepsis, including failures by GPs or other medical professionals to identify the early stages of infection and negligent hospital treatment. While no amount of money can make up for the mistakes that have been made, a compensation award can improve quality of life by providing financial security and access to the most appropriate rehabilitation and equipment.

In situations, for example, where a patient has had to have a limb amputated due to a delay in receiving the appropriate medical care for sepsis, compensation can help them purchase aids and equipment such as prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs, as well as allowing them to undergo physiotherapy and other forms of treatment and rehabilitation. Wherever possible, liability admissions and judgments are obtained at an early stage so that interim payments can be used to start rehabilitation at the first opportunity. 

As specialists in this area of medical negligence, we understand that making a compensation claim can be a stressful time, and so our focus throughout is on providing the support and empathy which patients and their families need. Initial consultations to discuss possible sepsis claims are offered free of charge and without obligation. Various funding options are available to clients, including no win no fee (conditional fee) agreements.

We offer expert advice on:

  • cases involving a failure by GPs, out of hours services and emergency services to recognise sepsis leading to a delay in referral to hospital
  • cases involving a failure to diagnose and treat sepsis in a timely manner
  • claims against hospitals for failing to recognise or diagnose sepsis
  • claims against hospitals where incorrect treatment was given or the treatment was not in accordance with hospital guidelines
  • negligent delays in diagnosis and treatment of meningitis
  • negligent delays in diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia and post-surgical infection

Recent work highlights

DELAY IN TREATING MENINGITIS RESULTING IN LOWER LIMB AMPUTATION

Obtaining liability and an interim payment for a child following a delay in diagnosis of meningococcal septicaemia which resulted in a below the knee amputation. The claim is stayed until it can be quantified but interim funds have enabled the child to purchase therapy and prosthetic limbs.


SETTLEMENT OF CLAIM FOLLOWING AVOIDABLE DEATH OF PATIENT WITH PNEUMONIA

Obtaining compensation from a Welsh health board for a woman whose husband passed away from severe pneumonia after a delay in commencing intravenous antibiotics. Expert evidence suggested that had he been given these antibiotics on admission to A&E, he would have survived.


ADMISSION OF NEGLIGENCE OVER MISSED SEPSIS DIAGNOSIS FOLLOWING SURGERY

Acting for a patient who underwent surgery to remove a benign tumour from her neck and developed sepsis post operatively. As this was not diagnosed, she suffered a number of complications including long-term respiratory problems and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP