Sepsis is a real problem for new mothers in the UK. In fact, it’s the number one cause of death for those who’ve just given birth. And, surprisingly, the incidence rate is going up, not down!
Sepsis needs to be caught early to prevent the more serious conditions of septicemia and septic shock – which can lead to death. So it’s very important that health care professionals can recognise the symptoms early and give appropriate treatment.
If there’s a delay in diagnosis or sepsis is missed, the results can be devastating. If this has happened to you, you should explore the idea of claiming for compensation. Asons are specialists in this area and can tell you how likely your claim is to succeed.
Our solicitors can provide expert claim advice in a FREE consultation if you are unsure; simply call 01204 521133.
What is Maternal Sepsis?
Maternal sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition, that begins with an over-zealous immune system. An infection enters the body, in the case of pregnant women this is, according to a report from 2011 called Savings Mothers’ Lives, usually by the genital tract.
Once the infection has entered the body, the immune system detects it and starts to fight it. But something goes wrong, and the it switches into overdrive. This is called a systemic inflammatory response syndrome, or SIRS, and creates inflammation, swelling and blood clotting in the body.
If this condition is left untreated it can quickly – in a matter of hours – develop into septic shock. This is when your blood pressure drops dangerously low, depriving your body, including your vital organs and your brain, of oxygen. At this point there is a very real danger of death. Survivors can be left with permanent organ damage and may require the amputation of limbs that have been affected by a lack of oxygen.
It’s a fast-acting and particularly nasty condition, but it is easily treatable if it’s recognised and dealt with quickly. A missed or late diagnosis, however, is likely to end in tragedy.
What Are The Risk Factors For Maternal Sepsis?
According to the NPEU, there are a number of factors that can affect chances of a new mother developing sepsis, including, according to the UKOSS, caesarean section and anaemia.
However, the biggest risk factor by far, is late or missed diagnosis. In 2003-2005, 71% of mothers who died directly from maternal sepsis were found to have received substandard care. That’s a pretty shocking number. And the nature of the substandard care was ‘mainly a delay in diagnosis’
What are the Symptoms of Maternal Sepsis?
The symptoms of early maternal sepsis can be quite vague. They are often likened to the symptoms of flu and can include, according to the NHS:
- a fever
- a quickened heart rate
- an increase in breathing rate
- shivers and chills
If these symptoms are not addressed quickly, they can progress into a much more severe condition, such as severe sepsis and even septic shock. The symptoms for these two conditions could include:
- a confusion mental state and even loss of consciousness
- slurred speech
- feeling dizzy or faint
- nausea and vomiting
- mottled or pale skin that’s clammy and cold
- severe breathlessness and muscle pain
- a decrease in urine production
If the infection gets this far, there’s a real danger or organ failure and death for the mother.
What Should Happen if Your Health Care Professional Suspects Sepsis?
If your healthcare professional suspects that you may have maternal sepsis, they should implement the Sepsis 6. This is a set of guidelines for the procedures that should be carried out in suspected cases of sepsis
The Sepsis 6 consists of the following steps:
- Administer high flow oxygen.
- Take blood cultures
- Give broad spectrum antibiotics
- Give intravenous fluid challenges
- Measure serum lactate and haemoglobin
- Measure accurate hourly urine output
If this did not happen in your case, despite the suspicion of sepsis, and you suffered as a result, you would certainly have a case to seek compensation. Asons would be able to advise you quickly and easily as to your chances of a claim being successful.
Our Experience of Handling Claims for Maternal Sepsis
At Asons, we’ve gathered a team of experienced compensation solicitors, who are more than happy to help you. We can offer you advice on your maternal sepsis compensation claim quickly and in confidence.
If you want to discuss the possibility of making a claim for compensation, let us help. In just a few minutes, we’ll be able to tell you how likely your claim is to succeed. It’s as simple as that.
So, why not let us take the strain of your compensation claim – we’re happy to!
Asons Keep it Simple!
At Asons, we like to keep it simple. We promise to:
- use plain English wherever we can. Sometimes we can’t avoid using legal language, so we keep it to a minimum. We find this helps people understand what will happen during their case and where it’s up to
- give you a personal claims handler. They will deal with your case, from the beginning right through to the end. However, sometimes changing your case handler is unavoidable. If this happens, you will be kept fully informed about who will be taking over your case and why
- keep you up-to-date with the status of your case, as it progresses, in a clear and concise manner
- be here when you need us. It’s important that you feel like you can contact us, to ask questions or for clarification, whenever you need to.
In short, we’ll make this process as simple as possible and we’ll take all the strain, so you don’t have to!
Medical negligence claims are subject to a ‘statute of limitations’. What this means, in laymans terms, is that any potential claim for compensation has to begin within three years of either the date the illness occurred, or the date you realised the problems you are suffering with now are as a result of the sepsis – this is called date of knowledge.
‘No Win, No Fee’
‘No win, no fee’ allows us to work on your behalf without you having to pay anything upfront. We know this can be a worry for many people. The classic image of dealing with solicitors is that it involves a lot of money – not with Asons. Like we said, we make it simple!
More on ‘no win, no fee’ here.
If you’ve suffered because of sepsis, and you feel that more careful monitoring could have prevented the illness, contact one of our team. They’ll ask for a few details about your case and advise you on the chances of your claim being successful.