Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death. Sepsis is a medical emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. Sepsis can set in after an accident that causes open wounds, after a surgery that was necessary after a car accident, or it can set in when an immune system is weakened due to stress and trauma. In fact, sepsis can be an issue without any visible injuries to your body.

After a car accident in Florida, or any accident for that matter – we encourage everyone to see a doctor and ensure you have current and up-to-date medical care. If you are diagnosed with sepsis, the records from your doctor and medical facilities can be invaluable tools in negotiations as we file and negotiate on your behalf.

What are the 3 Stages of Sepsis?

  • Sepsis: This is the initial stage of sepsis. The body’s response to infection triggers inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can lead to fever, chills, rapid breathing, and an increased heart rate.
  • Severe Sepsis: In this stage, sepsis has caused some organ dysfunction. This may manifest as confusion, difficulty breathing, or a decrease in urine output.
  • Septic Shock: This is the most serious stage of sepsis. It is characterized by extremely low blood pressure that persists even after aggressive fluid resuscitation. Septic shock can quickly lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Early recognition and treatment of sepsis is crucial to improve outcomes. If you think you or someone you know may have sepsis, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

what are the 3 stages of sepsis

What Is Sepsis?

Sepsis occurs when your body’s immune system overreacts to an infection. This reaction can be triggered by various germs, including:

  • Bacteria: This is the most common culprit behind sepsis.
  • Viruses: While less frequent than bacteria, viruses like influenza can also cause sepsis.
  • Fungi: Fungal infections are another potential cause of sepsis.

The infection itself isn’t what causes sepsis, but rather the body’s extreme response to it. During an infection, the immune system normally fights off germs with inflammation. However, in sepsis, this inflammation goes awry. The immune system releases chemicals throughout the body that can damage tissues and organs. This widespread inflammation can disrupt organ function and lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and even death.

What Types Of Accidents Can Possibly Result In Sepsis?

Accidents themselves don’t directly cause sepsis, but they can create injuries that increase the risk of infection, which can then lead to sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs.

Here are some types of accidents that can increase the risk of sepsis:

  • Car accidents: Injuries from car accidents can puncture the skin or cause internal bleeding, both of which can allow bacteria to enter the body and cause infection. Generally, there is quite a bit of dirt introduced into wounds after a car accident – either from debris on or alongside the road, or from airbags or other things inside the car that fly around as the accident happens.
  • Bicycle or Motorcycle Accidents: Road rash injury, such as the kind sustained after a motorcycle or bicycle accident, can also be more prone to infection and sepsis if not treated and cleaned correctly. Immediate medical care is important, even if you feel it’s “not that bad.”
  • Falls: Falls, especially in older adults, can cause fractures and other injuries that can become infected. Sepsis doesn’t require an open wound, so even just a bad fall with internal bleeding under the skin could escalate into sepsis if the conditions are right.
  • Burns: Burns can damage the skin, which is a natural barrier against infection. The risk of infection for severe burns is quite high. Studies show infection rates ranging from 27.5% to 58.1% for patients with burns exceeding 20% of their total body surface area (TBSA).
  • Animal bites: Animal bites can introduce bacteria deep into the skin, where it can be difficult for the body to fight off the infection. One risk with animal bites is if the surface of the puncture heals over before the inside is infection-free and healed – creating a prime environment for infection to grow.

If you have been in an accident and have any concerns about infection, it is important to see a doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment of infection can help prevent sepsis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sepsis After My Florida Car Accident?

Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for regarding sepsis after a car accident in Florida:

  • Signs of infection: This could include fever, chills, redness or swelling around wounds, or increased pain at the injury site.
  • Changes in mental alertness: Confusion, disorientation, or unusual drowsiness can be warning signs.
  • Trouble breathing: Rapid or shallow breathing can indicate that your organs are struggling.
  • Changes in heart rate: A heart rate that’s consistently too fast or too slow can be a red flag.
  • Decreased urination: Not urinating as much as usual can be a sign of organ dysfunction.

Here’s what to do if you experience these symptoms:

  • Seek medical attention immediately: Don’t wait for symptoms to worsen. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for preventing serious complications.
  • Inform the doctor about your car accident: This context will help them understand your increased risk of infection.
  • Be prepared to answer questions: Be ready to provide details about your accident, any injuries you sustained, and any medications you’re taking.

After an accident, making sure you have meticulous records can be the factor that has one of the biggest impacts on settlement satisfaction. Hiring a great team of personal injury lawyers near you to stand by your side is another big factor. We’re here to answer your questions and provide a free initial consultation. If you’ve become septic after an accident in Florida, give us a call today!

Does The Presence Of Sepsis Increase My Possible Settlement Amount?

The presence of sepsis can potentially increase your settlement amount in a claim, but it depends on the specifics of your case. Sepsis caused by negligence in a doctor, dentist or hospital facility can greatly impact your case.

Here are some factors that can increase or change your settlement potential:

  • Severity of Sepsis: Sepsis can range from mild to life-threatening. A more severe case with long-term complications will likely hold more weight in settlement negotiations than a mild case with a full recovery.
  • Cause of Sepsis: The cause of sepsis is crucial. If the lawsuit is against a medical facility and their negligence led to the infection that caused sepsis, it strengthens your case.
  • Impact of Sepsis: The lasting effects of sepsis play a big role. Did it cause permanent organ damage, require extensive surgeries, or significantly impact your quality of life? These factors may significantly increase the settlement amount.

What Are Some Tips For Avoiding Sepsis After An Accident In Florida

While completely preventing sepsis is difficult, here are some tips to reduce your risk after a car accident in Florida:

Minimize risk of infection:

  • Prompt medical attention: Seek medical attention immediately after the accident for proper evaluation and treatment of any injuries. This helps prevent infections from developing in the first place.
  • Wound care: Follow doctor’s instructions meticulously when it comes to cleaning, dressing, and caring for any wounds you sustain. This minimizes the chance of bacteria entering your body.
  • Catheter hygiene: If you have catheters inserted (urinary or intravenous), ensure healthcare providers maintain proper hygiene protocols during insertion and while changing them.

Support your body’s defense:

  • Maintain good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before touching wounds or your face. This helps prevent the spread of germs.
  • Nutrition: Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein to support your immune system’s function.
  • Rest and hydration: Get enough sleep to allow your body to heal. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and support your immune system.

Be aware and proactive:

  • Know the signs: Be familiar with the signs of sepsis mentioned earlier (fever, chills, confusion, rapid breathing, etc.). Early detection is key.
  • Communicate: Inform your doctor about your car accident and the potential increased risk of infection.
  • Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or nurses about any concerns you have regarding infection or sepsis.

Is Sepsis More Prevalent in Florida Due to Climate?

There’s no evidence that sepsis is inherently more common in Florida compared to other parts of the US. Sepsis is a complication that can arise from any infection, and risk factors like age, chronic illness, and weakened immune system are more important factors than location.

While Florida’s humid climate doesn’t directly cause sepsis, it can play a role in creating favorable conditions for some types of infections that can lead to sepsis. For instance, warm and humid environments can promote the growth of bacteria and fungi on the skin, which can increase the risk of infection following injuries or surgery.

However, this doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher risk of sepsis in Florida. Hospitals in Florida are aware of this and likely take additional precautions to prevent infections, such as stricter hygiene protocols. Yet another reason why getting medical care after an accident in Florida is so important.

Contact An Attorney to Help With Your Sepsis After Accident Case, Today

Sepsis is a serious medical emergency, and early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. If you have been in a car accident and are experiencing any of the signs of sepsis, don’t wait – seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, if you were in an accident and later develop sepsis, keeping meticulous records of your medical care is important. For expert advice and a free consultation, contact the nearby personal injury attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today. We can help you understand your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call now!