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Sepsis can go from bad to worse quickly without treatment

Sepsis is a serious infection that can turn fatal quickly. It is imperative that doctors who have a patient that might be septic take appropriate action to determine if sepsis is present so they can determine a proper treatment plan. Understanding sepsis might help patients and their loved ones to know what is going on.

There are three markers for sepsis in the first stage. A patient who has a rapid heart rate of 90 beats per minute or higher, a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit, and a breathing rate of 20 breaths per minute or higher might be suffering from sepsis.

As sepsis worsens to the second stage, more symptoms become evident. The patient might not have an adequate urine output, have difficulty breathing, have a decrease in platelet count or have an abrupt change in mental status. These are indicative of organ failure.

Sepsis that continues to progress will eventually turn into septic shock. This stage has the previous symptoms, but the person will also have a low blood pressure that doesn't respond to fluid replacement. Once sepsis has advanced to this stage, there is a 50 percent chance of death. If the person does recover, the chance of another infection in the future is greatly increased.

Since sepsis is treatable in the early stage, it is crucial that doctors make an appropriate diagnosis then. If a doctor sees the patient and doesn't do anything to treat the sepsis, medical issues can end up causing the patient to die. In these cases, seeking compensation is something that might be worth looking into.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Sepsis," accessed Dec. 09, 2016

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