Most nursing homes in the United States share a problem: they are understaffed. There are not enough employees to take good care of the residents, so many tasks go undone or are not done frequently enough, such as keeping the residents clean. When feces remain on the body, when wounds go for too long without a clean dressing, when pressure ulcers remain untreated, then sepsis is a very real and potentially deadly possibility.
Because the symptoms of sepsis resemble those of other conditions, diagnosing it can be difficult. The Mayo Clinic lists the following tests that doctors may run to identify sepsis:
Your blood may be tested for
- presence of bacteria;
- clotting problems;
- abnormal liver or kidney function;
- low oxygen level; and
- electrolyte imbalance.
Additional laboratory tests
These may also be tested:
- Urine—if symptoms of a urinary tract infection are present.
- Wound secretions—if a wound is infected, a test can help pinpoint the best antibiotic to treat it.
- Respiratory secretions—if mucus is being coughed up, a test can, once again, determine the best antibiotic for the job.
These may be run if the site of the infection is not known:
- X-ray—to detect a problem in the lungs;
- Computerized tomography (CT)—to detect problems in the appendix, pancreas, or bowels;
- Ultrasound—to find infection in the gall bladder or ovaries; and
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—to locate soft-tissue infections, such as abscesses in the spine.
If your loved one died from sepsis in a Kentucky nursing home, contact the Louisville nursing home neglect lawyers at Gray and White Law. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.