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Failure To Diagnose Sepsis

Baltimore Lawyers Helping People Pursue Claims Against Negligent Doctors

Sepsis is a critical medical condition that requires a timely diagnosis and treatment, as delays can lead to devastating complications, including organ failure and death. Tragically, however, doctors often fail to diagnose sepsis until it is too late. The failure to diagnose sepsis often constitutes malpractice, and if you or a loved one sustained harm because of physician neglected to provide a timely and accurate diagnosis, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney about what compensation you might be owed. The Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping parties injured by the negligence of doctors in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf to help you seek a just outcome.

Diagnosing Sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition characterized by widespread inflammation and organ dysfunction due to the body's response to infection. Common symptoms include high or low body temperature, rapid heart rate and breathing, confusion, severe pain, decreased urine output, abnormal clotting, and mottled skin.

Sepsis is typically diagnosed following an assessment of the patient’s medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. For example, doctors often order blood cultures and imaging studies to identify the underlying infection and obtain a complete blood count to assess the severity of the infection and organ dysfunction.

A delayed or missed diagnosis of sepsis can lead to complications such as septic shock, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, and death. The prompt diagnosis and treatment of sepsis is crucial, therefore, to prevent critical complications from developing.

Harm Caused by the Failure To Diagnose Sepsis

A patient with sepsis has a better chance of a good outcome if they receive a prompt diagnosis and treatment. When a sepsis diagnosis is delayed, it can lead to devastating complications and, in many instances, is considered medical malpractice. As such, people harmed by such oversights will often seek damages from the providers responsible for their harm.

In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff will typically assert a claim of medical negligence against the defendant. In Maryland, to prove negligence in the context of medical treatment, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant had a duty to adhere to the applicable standard of care, which is the level of treatment that a competent professional in the same field would provide when facing a similar situation.

The plaintiff must then demonstrate that the defendant's actions or omissions deviated from this standard of care. For instance, if a reasonable doctor would order blood tests when a patient exhibits symptoms of sepsis, and the defendant failed to do so, it may constitute a breach of the standard. As the average person may not have knowledge of the specific obligations placed on medical professionals, expert testimony is often necessary to explain the standard and why the defendant’s behavior constitutes a breach of the standard.

Finally, the plaintiff must establish a link between the defendant's behavior and the harm suffered. In other words, it must be shown that the defendant's failure to diagnose sepsis was a significant factor in causing the plaintiff's injuries and that the harm would not have occurred without the defendant's actions. Demonstrating causation generally requires expert testimony as well.

Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

If a plaintiff successfully demonstrates that a defendant is responsible for medical malpractice, they may receive compensation to cover the cost of their medical treatment as well as any out-of-pocket costs they incurred. If they could not work due to their injuries, they may be able to recover lost wages as well. Additionally, in many instances, plaintiffs can recover damages for the physical and emotional pain, suffering, and trauma they experienced.

Meet With a Skilled Baltimore Attorney

Many people with sepsis respond well to treatment and fully recover. If a doctor fails to diagnose sepsis, however, it will go untreated and, in most instances, will cause grave harm. If you were hurt by a doctor’s careless failure to identify the signs and symptoms of sepsis, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should meet with an attorney. The skilled Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are proficient at demonstrating that negligent doctors should be deemed responsible for the harm they cause, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us at (410) 889-1850 or via our online form to set up a meeting.