Whether you contracted an infection that remained undiagnosed after a surgery or some other way, the medical staff you entrusted with your health failed to treat it before it advanced into sepsis, which means that your body's immune system went into hyperdrive and began attacking the rest of your body.
Once you received a diagnosis of sepsis, you required additional and aggressive treatment. Once you received a clean bill of health, you thought the ordeal was over. However, that may not be the end of the story.
What is post-sepsis syndrome?
You could be among the 50% of sepsis survivors who now suffers from post-sepsis syndrome. If you suspect that could be the case, look for the following symptoms:
- Blood clots
- Difficulty breathing
- Disabling joint and muscle pain
- Vivid hallucinations
- Panic attacks
- Decreased mental function
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of self-belief or self-esteem
- Poor concentration
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
You could end up losing a toe, finger or limb depending on the severity of the condition. You could suffer from organ damage as well. Many with this condition end up with damage to their livers or kidneys. Your odds of suffering from post-sepsis syndrome increase if you spent time in the intensive care unit at the hospital.
Even if you luckily avoid the more intense repercussions of a bout with sepsis, you could end up spending the rest of your life experiencing fatigue and/or chronic pain. Some people report other, seemingly odd and unrelated issues such as hair loss in the weeks that follow their discharge from the hospital.
What can you do about post-sepsis syndrome?
Depending on the symptoms you suffer from, your doctor can help you manage them. You could need physical therapy, counseling, or some other physical or psychological support. If you are lucky, you will be able to function and continue your life much as you did prior to contracting sepsis. Unfortunately, if you aren't that lucky, you could have debilitating and permanent issues the rest of your life, which will more than likely have a significant impact on your finances.
If you believe that the standard of care you received from your doctor and other medical staff led to your sepsis and post-sepsis syndrome, it may be worth your while to discuss the matter with a medical malpractice attorney. During a consultation, you can review your circumstances, gain an understanding of your rights and legal options, and discuss the appropriate steps moving forward.