It is flu season again. Though it isn’t shaping up to be a particularly dangerous season, the flu is dangerous no matter how mild the outbreak may seem. Every year, hundreds of people die from the flu, and thousands more suffer long-term health issues. Too many people skip their flu shots, assuming the shot does no good, or that herd immunity will save them. This type of risky behavior increases the likelihood the flu will spread.
One under-appreciated risk of the flu is sepsis. Any infection can lead to sepsis, an infection of the blood that is often fatal. Even if you survive sepsis, if prompt diagnosis and treatment don’t occur there is a large risk of long-term difficulties. The flu, being a viral infection, can cause these types of life-endangering side effects.
Certain individuals are more susceptible to sepsis than others, and these individuals should be monitored for any of the warning signs of sepsis. Those at risk include:
- The elderly
- People with open wounds
- People taking immune-suppressing medications or chemotherapies
Sepsis is treatable for the most part, so long as it is caught quickly. Unfortunately, many doctors fail to recognize these early signs, and the test most often used to check for sepsis can take 24-48 hours to return results. In 24-48 hours, a patient suffering from sepsis is likely to be dead.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to a failure to diagnose sepsis, it is up to you to help bring about a change in the way the disease is diagnosed and treated. Clinicians could prescribe life-saving medications at the first sign of sepsis, but too many wait for the test results to come back. The best way to make a change is applying pressure through the legal system, and an experienced attorney will know how and where to push to get those changes made.