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Study Finds Half of Hospital Deaths Caused by Sepsis

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Sepsis is a sometimes fatal complication of an infection which occurs when chemicals released into a person’s bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. These inflammatory responses can cause a multitude of changes which can damage multiple organ systems. This can lead to organ failure and death.  

A recent study has revealed some frightening statistics about sepsis, including that at least 10 percent of all hospital patients develop sepsis and that it may be responsible for up to half of all hospital deaths that happen every year.

The study was done by researchers from health care company Kaiser Permanente, who looked at the records of over 7 million hospitalized adult patients. The time frame of the study was between the years 2010 and 2012. Because the majority of medical personnel don’t recognize sepsis symptoms, the research team not only analyzed the records of patients who were diagnosed with sepsis, but also the records of patients who had been diagnosed with both infections and organ failure.

Over 150,000 patients were determined to have died from sepsis, however only 35 to 40 percent were identified as having “explicit” symptoms. Approximately 56 percent of patients were identified as having only “implicit” symptoms.

The study’s authors identified the lack of knowledge that medical staff have about sepsis and urged training and hospital procedure changes in order to help recognize early symptoms and begin treatment before it’s too late.

If you or someone in your family has been left with illness or injury because of an infection or other medical error suffered while in the hospital, contact a dedicated Virginia medical malpractice attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

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