The condition of sepsis, and its more severe cousin, septic shock, is scary for a number of reasons. For one, it is a potentially fatal response by the body to a stubborn infection. If left untreated, it can cause irreparable damage to a person's organs.
The other scary thing about sepsis is that it can happen to just about anybody. All it takes is for a person to get some sort of infection that the body's immune system tries to fight off. However, infants, seniors, those who are pregnant and those already suffering from a medical condition are particularly prone to sepsis.
The problem with sepsis is that it can be hard to identify and diagnose. Early symptoms of the condition are low blood pressure, rapid breathing and some changes in alertness and mental health. Of course, people can experience such conditions for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, if a doctor delays or misses the diagnosis, the patient can develop septic shock. At that point, it may be too late.
Given how sepsis can take even physicians by surprise, some are trying to use advanced computer technology and algorithms to better identify the early warning signs of the condition. This would allow medical professionals to spot a problem early on and be able to respond, greatly increasing the chances of a patient's survival.
However, no machine can serve as an excuse for a condition to go undetected. While it may be true that some cases of sepsis and septic shock are just tragedies, in other cases, it is clear that a doctor could have prevented injury or death with a little more attentiveness. In these sorts of cases, a family may be eligible for compensation in a medical malpractice suit.