What to Expect if Your Loved One Has Sepsis in a Nursing Home

-74.60469622164976Nursing home residents are at an increased risk of infections such as sepsis. This means it’s important to routinely monitor their condition and ensure they have access to the healthcare they need.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a medical condition that occurs when bacteria make it into the bloodstream. Sepsis is life-threatening and requires emergency treatment. It can be caused by any bacterial infection, as well as other types of infection, like the flu.


While Sepsis is not contagious, many of the infections that lead to it are. This means that it can quickly lead to an outbreak in tight living quarters like in a nursing home.

Who’s At Risk of Sepsis?

Older adults who live in close conditions with others are at the highest risk of getting Sepsis. A few common risk factors for getting Sepsis include:

  • A diagnosis of Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney or liver disease
  • Previous use of antibiotics
  • Seniors who are 65 years or older
  • ICU admission
  • The use of invasive medical devices
  • Patients with longer hospital visits
  • Previous corticosteroid use

Additionally, when a senior gets sepsis while in a nursing home, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to prevent others from getting it. Many seniors in nursing homes have a lowered immune system, which can put them at the same risk of getting the initial infection that led to it.

Common Causes of Sepsis

It can be beneficial to review some of the most common causes of sepsis in nursing homes. It’s most commonly caused by residents coming down with a bacterial infection. Nursing homes often have a lot of foot traffic, including staff members and visitors. They spend a lot of time with other residents. All of this can put them at risk of bacterial infections.

Sepsis infections most commonly come from bacteria like C. Difficile, E. Coli, MRSA, and Streptococcus. These bacteria often show up first as an infection, which may or may not be treated in a timely manner. The longer that it takes for a resident to be treated for a bacterial infection, the more likely sepsis is.

In many cases, sepsis is treatable. That means that if timely action is taken, the senior should improve. However, if the resident doesn’t receive immediate medical care, or their caregiver isn’t monitoring their condition, it can be a sign of nursing home neglect.

Common Signs of Sepsis

It is the caregiver’s duty to monitor the health and well-being of their patients, including the signs of sepsis, especially after an infection. The signs of sepsis often come on quickly, meaning careful monitoring is important. Common signs of sepsis may include a change in the patient’s mental status, cold hands and feet, a fever, and a high heart rate. The patient may also be lethargic, anxious, confused, agitated, or have a rash.

If a patient has sepsis, they often need around-the-clock medical treatment. A nursing home can prevent sepsis by cleaning rooms and items properly, isolating patients who have symptoms, using protective gear when necessary, and washing hands between caregiving responsibilities with different residents.

Contact an Elizabeth Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Nursing Home Negligence Case in New Jersey Today

Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home negligence or abuse in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Sugarman Law Firm represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Princeton, and Cherry Hill. Call 1-866-657-5660 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 80 East Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876, as well as an office in Marlton, NJ.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.


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