According to the National Injury Law Center, Septic Shock is one of the most devastating and unnecessary conditions that residents of nursing homes can experience. Sepsis is a condition that can cause extremely low blood pressure which, in turn, inhibits blood from circulating properly. Residents at nursing homes are often more likely to develop conditions like sepsis since their immune systems are more easily compromised. Patients are considered to be in septic shock when, after being treated with antibiotics and intravenous fluids, their condition doesn’t improve. The outcome of septic shock can have fatal consequences, such as organ failure. Additionally, the mortality rate for septic shock is 25%-50%.
Some symptoms of sepsis are chills, high heart rate, fever, or hypothermia. Residents of nursing facilities can develop sepsis when their caretakers aren’t attentive to their needs. Sepsis can develop from something as small as a bed sore. If the patient is bed-ridden and the caretaker doesn’t shift the resident’s body weight enough, the constant stagnant weight will cause sores to develop on the affected skin. Infection can develop from bed sores that aren’t tended to. Caretakers that neglect to move patients around are likely to neglect patients with bed sores, and thus the patient could develop a case of sepsis.
Fortunately, ailments like bed sores and sepsis are easily avoided if the caretakers are vigilant. Constant care nursing homes have a difficult time staffing a crew of certified and well-trained nurses. Because of this, nursing homes usually resort to hiring less educated candidates that aren’t equipped to handle the arduous task of caring for multiple high-needs patients. When nursing homes don’t hire qualified people the consequences are devastating for the residents, families, and employers alike. Many advocacy groups and legal practices try to keep nursing facilities accountable for damages experienced by residents. Until nursing homes can figure out a way to attract and keep qualified caretakers, they will find themselves under legal and moral scrutiny.