Sepsis is a potentially fatal complication of an infection. If a doctor’s or hospital’s mistake led to an infection that developed into sepsis, you may have a long recovery ahead of you. You may even experience permanent health issues as a result. We discuss the possible long-term effects of sepsis caused by medical malpractice.
Although some people make a full recovery from sepsis, others are not that fortunate and are left with life-changing challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sepsis affects over one million people each year. If you or a loved one is among them, read on to learn about possible complications.
What Life May Be Like in the First Days After Sepsis
Because sepsis is a life-threatening infection that attacks your tissues and organs, people with severe sepsis begin their recoveries in the intensive care unit (ICU). Once patients are stabilized with IV antibiotics and other medications, they will begin their slow journeys toward recovery. If the patient has been in a medically induced coma, recovery may include learning the basics from sitting up and standing up to walking. The first goal is to get you to the functioning level that you were at prior to sepsis, or as close as possible. It will feel like you are physically doing a lot, and you will get tired easily. Remember to take it slow, and that resting is important during this time.
What Life May Be Like at Home After Sepsis
Once you get home, you may still have a difficult time moving around. You may feel weak and tired, breathless, and you may be in pain. It is very normal to experience a lack of appetite, weight loss, and difficulty sleeping during this time. Many sepsis survivors also find themselves wanting to be left alone. They may avoid their friends and family, not care about their appearance, and may even be depressed. Some people may also experience anxiety, worry, frustration, anger, and confusion. These symptoms are normal to have during the first few weeks, but if these symptoms continue, it may be possible that you are experiencing post-sepsis syndrome.
What Is Post-Sepsis Syndrome (PSS)?
PSS is a condition that causes sepsis survivors long-term physical and/or psychological effects. In fact, about half of sepsis survivors suffer from post-sepsis syndrome, according to Sepsis.org. Some of the long-term effects of PSS includes:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nightmares, panic attacks, and vivid hallucinations
- Disabling muscle and joint pains
- Extreme fatigue
- Poor concentration
- Decreased mental functioning
- Loss of self-esteem and self-belief
Long-term Effects of Sepsis
Some people with sepsis have lost limbs, suffered memory loss, and suffered kidney failure and are left to deal with dialysis. For these people, the life-long challenges are very real and obvious. They will have many long-term needs, and as a result, they will need to enlist help from their families, caregivers, and ongoing medical care. For others, their medical issues might not be as urgent, but they may be suffering from post-sepsis syndrome, which is very real and also presents life-long challenges to overcome. Some victims of severe sepsis even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Because of the many different life-long effects of sepsis, it is important that sepsis survivors also enlist the help of a mental health professional as well as a legal professional. If you believe that you are suffering from sepsis and the long-term effects of sepsis as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, you may have rights to compensation. Feel free to call our law firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your potential case.