Sepsis – an infection of the blood – often occurs as a result of other types of infection within the body. Lately, studies focus on the increased number of sepsis cases in nursing homes, asking the question: are these cases avoidable?
In short, yes. Sepsis cases in nursing homes often result from things that workers should have control over.
Bedsores causing infection
KHN discusses the sepsis infections that currently sweep the nursing home population. Sepsis infections often result from other infections going unchecked. In many cases, these infections begin and take root due to bedsores.
A bedsore forms when a patient remains immobile for a period of hours. Many nursing home residents cannot move freely, or move well on their own. If they do not have staff turning them over or helping them move, they can end up stuck in one position for hours at a time.
Neglect in nursing homes
In order to prevent bedsores from forming, staff at nursing homes must turn the patient once every two hours. If they cannot do this, they are likely understaffed. This is a potential case of neglect.
The sepsis or other infections that then occur because of bedsores could thus also get contributed to negligence within the facility, at least speaking on a general level.
Some cases of sepsis happen even with all of the best precautionary methods in place, and some instances that lead to sepsis evade prediction. But the vast majority come from preventable situations where more care and attentiveness could have made a difference.
For this reason, nursing home residents who suffer from sepsis may have a case for negligence that they could pursue.