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Septic shock is a caused by an infection in the bloodstream when blood pressure falls dangerously low and organs malfunction because of inadequate blood flow.
Septic shock occurs most often in newborns; people 50 years and older; people who have a chronic disease like diabetes; and people with a weakened immune system, who have AIDS or cancer or are getting chemotherapy.
In infants, septic shock can be caused by Group B strep (GBS) during childbirth and after delivery. Septic shock can also be caused by meningitis. For the elderly who waste away in nursing homes, infected and neglected bed sores or pressure sores may be the cause of septic shock. Does your loved one have a septic shock lawsuit?
Septic shock is caused by cytokines and by toxins produced by bacteria which result in dropping blood pressure. Reduced blood flow impairs the kidneys and brain. The body tries to compensate but the toxins escape from the bloodstream into tissues to cause swelling which in turn causes respiratory distress.
The greater problem with septic shock is lack of timely diagnosis and treatment. About 33 percent of adults with septic shock die -- that is unacceptable; that is medical malpractice.
Septic shock symptoms look much like other symptoms. Initial symptoms include confused and diminished mental acuity. These symptoms may last a day or more before your blood pressure drops. More symptoms include shaking and chills, warm and flushed skin, a rise in body temperature, rapid breathing, pounding pulse, and blood pressure that rises and falls. Bladder output decreases. Tissues with poor blood flow release excess lactic acid into the bloodstream which results in different organs malfunctioning and failing. When the kidneys fail, an accumulation of metabolic waste goes into the blood. When the lungs fail, breathing difficulties result and reduces the level of oxygen in the blood. When the heart fails, there’s fluid retention and blood clots form inside blood vessels.
Diagnosing septic shock requires analyzing blood samples and ECG (electrocardiogram). Once diagnosed, intravenous fluids will be given to increase blood pressure and drugs may be prescribed to increase blood flow to organs. Oxygen and a ventilator will help breathing. High doses of intravenous antibiotics are given to increase the chances of killing the bacteria. Abscesses are drained and surgery may be performed to remove any gangrenous tissue of the intestine.
Contact Monheit Law for your free, no-obligation consultation so we may evaluate the facts and determine how we can help you.