How to Sue the NHS for Sepsis?
Sepsis is a rare but fatal complication arising from the body’s response to an infection. Also known as Septicemia or blood poisoning, Sepsis happens when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection causing inflammation in many body parts. If not diagnosed and treated urgently, it ultimately leads to damages to body tissues, multiple organ failure and finally death.
This guide addresses how you can sue the NHS for sepsis if you have lost a loved one as a result of medical negligence.
Statistics from the UK Sepsis trust shows that about 150,000 cases of Sepsis occur each year in the UK. Of this number, while about 52,000 cases result in death, approximately 14,000 of these fatal cases were preventable.
What really helps in arresting the situation and preventing death or permanent damage to any of the body tissues or organs is early and accurate diagnosis of the condition. This is further emphasized by an independent report by the National Confidential Enquiry which revealed that delayed diagnosis is actually the cause of more than one-third of sepsis deaths
People who are most susceptible to suffering sepsis are:
- People who have a weak immune system
- Those already in hospital with a serious illness
- The elderly or very young persons
- Persons who injured themselves in an accident
- People who have just had surgery
Cases of severe sepsis and septic shock where one experiences a dangerously low blood pressure drop due to sepsis – are medical emergencies.
Septic death describes when a patient dies due to sepsis or septic shock. Septic shock is an emergency where the patient goes into shock as a result of a dangerously low blood pressure drop.
Where such tragic death is caused by doctor’s negligence, loved ones can make a sepsis wrongful death lawsuit against the medical professionals responsible or the NHS if it happened in an NHS clinic.
Sepsis Negligence Claims
When an individual makes a medical negligence claim against a private medical practitioner or the NHS for negligent treatment causing a loved one to suffer sepsis, such a person has made sepsis medical negligence claims.
Medical malpractice causing septic shock is simply unacceptable. You deserve to be compensated adequately for the pain, injury, avoidable trauma of losing a loved one. You also deserve to be compensated for the financial losses and other expenses you have and will incur because of the condition.
Also, if the loved one is the provider for the family and is unable to return to work, the family needs to be compensated adequately. It is therefore important that you make claims if you find yourself in such a situation. We have experienced medical negligence solicitors who are willing to undertake your claims under our No Win No Fee policy and see that you get justice for the wrong done to you.
Common Signs Of Sepsis
The following signs are associated with sepsis
- Slurred speech
- Confusion or disorientation
- Severe difficulty in breathing
- Discoloration of the skin
- Skin rashes
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pains
- Abdominal pain
Symptoms Of Septic Shock
- Low blood pressure
- The patient suffers confusion and altered mental status
- Extreme lethargy
Medical Malpractice Septic Shock/ Sepsis Claims
There are a number of actions a medical professional may take or fail to take that will amount to being negligent and could leading to making of claims should the patient suffer avoidable harm or pain because of them.
- Making a wrong diagnosis or a late diagnosis of the condition leading to avoidable complications
- Failing to commence treatment promptly
- Failing To Carry Out The Proper Tests or errors in interpreting tests results
- Avoidable mistakes while administering medications
Can I Catch Sepsis From Someone Else?
Sepsis is not contagious and so cannot be contacted from a sufferer. However, the infections that cause sepsis can be contagious. A person is not directly infected with sepsis; however, the causative organisms cause the person to suffer illness which when poorly managed, can lead to sepsis.
Making Sepsis Medical Negligence Claims
Before you decide to sue the NHS for sepsis, you must be able to prove that indeed medical negligence occurred. You need to show that the NHS was responsible for your health and wellbeing or that of your loved one but acted below acceptable standards. Not just that, you need to show that the sepsis condition suffered is a direct result of that medical negligence.
Therefore, there are key areas that need to be established
Both are very important and if you are only able to establish one without the other, your claims cannot be successful.
By liability, you demonstrate that the NHS and its staff had a duty of care towards you or your loved one. They had a responsibility to ensure that you or your loved one was safe but failed to do so. You need to show proof of how they acted negligently or subjected you to substandard care.
By Causation, you establish a direct link between the negligent treatment you received and the harm which you or your loved is currently suffering or suffered. This is very important as showing that a medical professional acted negligently is not enough if no harm was done to the patient. You therefore need to proof beyond reasonable doubt that the harm, injury, pain or trauma you have experienced is as a result of the health professionals failing to do what they were supposed to do.
Additionally, showing the damages that you or your loved one has suffered is very vital towards proving your case. You may have suffered financial damages, psychological trauma in addition to the deteriorating health condition. Additionally, there may be social damages and inability to return to work as well as need for some special equipment and care to carry out day to day tasks. These need to be established.
If in the unfortunate case that your loved one died as a result, you can also prove dependency in addition to your statutory bereavement award when you make a sepsis wrongful death lawsuit.
In any of these areas, our specialist medical negligence solicitors are willing and ready to stand by you and fight to see that you get justice.
Therefore, the following documents and perhaps some others depending on the nature of your claims will be required to make success NHS negligence claims for sepsis.
- Your comprehensive statements of what happened
- Patient medical records, scans and results of tests done
- Witness reports from family or close friends
- Proof of financial losses incurred as a result of the condition
- Picture or photographs showing severity of patient condition
Where necessary, we will provide you with an independent medical expert in the relevant field to perform a thorough medical examination on the person and give a medical report which will be useful in making your claims.
Now, even if you are unsure of the treatment you received or if you should sue the NHS for sepsis, we still encourage you to reach out to us so that we can discuss with you. Our consultation sessions are free of charge, so it doesn’t cost you anything to talk with our friendly and professional solicitors.
Furthermore, there is a limited time to make medical negligence claims. Therefore, it is important you make hay while the sun shines. Our solicitors can also help you to secure access to documents you need to prove your claims.
Suing the NHS for medical negligence will basically involve the following
First you may want to make complaints about the standard of treatment you received. You will have 12months from the date of the negligent treatment to make such complaints.
Where such complaints do not yield the desired results, you can then proceed to sue the NHS for sepsis.
The process is outlined below:
- Meet with your medical negligence solicitor to discuss and carefully evaluate your claims
- Fund your claims from the options you will be provided depending on your eligibility
- Provide evidence needed to prove your claim with the help of your lawyers
- Write a letter to claim to the NHS and prove liability
- Register your claim in court (this is a standard procedure and doesn’t necessarily mean that the case will go to court)
- Payment of settlement fee after successful negotiations
Importantly, we can also secure interim payments on your behalf as soon as the defendant accepts liability. This will help cushion the financial troubles you could be having as well as enable you access further medical treatment or rehabilitation as may be needed.
Suing The NHS Time Limit
To sue the NHS for sepsis or any form of medical negligence claim, you only have a three-year time limit to make your claim as stipulated by the Limitation Act of 1980. This time frame starts from the date of the medical negligence or when you found out about it.
If for some reasons the individual is incapacitated and unable to make claims such as physical or mental incapacitation, the limitation period can be relaxed until the person is able to do so. However, like in the case of sepsis, a loved one or close relation (legally known as a litigation friend) can make claims on behalf of the affected loved one.
Compensation Calculator NHS
The NHS compensation calculator will be used to make a realistic estimate of what your settlement payout should be. This will be determined by several factors which include the following
- The extent, degree or severity of your injury
- Future prognosis or estimated time for recovery
- Psychological impact of the injury and impact on day to day life
- Financial losses incurred and out of pocket expenses
- Costs of undergoing further medical treatments including costs of medical appointments
- Travel costs of medical appointments
- Costs of rehabilitation and purchasing of any mobility aids or assistive devices
- Costs of making adjustments to you home to suit the new condition
No Win No Fee Sepsis Negligence Claims
With our No Win No Fee policy, you need not be afraid of any legal fees as you would not be making any of such payments. You will also be protected from incurring any debts whatsoever should it be that the case was not successful in the end.
Only at the end of a successful NHS medical negligence claim shall we deduct 25% of your compensation amount as success fee while you receive the rest.
Reach out to us today by filling out our Online Free Claims Assessment Form and one of us will contact you to set up a meeting and discuss your claims at your earliest convenience.