Amputations Due to Sepsis in Oregon

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Medical Malpractice Leading to Amputations Due to Sepsis in Oregon 


According to the Sepsis Alliance, there are approximately over 1.6 million amputations every year in the United States with approximately 10% of those being due to sepsis. Sepsis is the result of an infection that is left untreated. The infection can start anywhere in the body but can spread to other organs, or even systemically causing sepsis. Bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections can cause sepsis. Once the infection spreads, it sends the immune system into overdrive in an effort to fight the infection. When this happens severe inflammation throughout the body occurs which can then lead to tissue damage, organ damage, or even death. Amputations due to sepsis is a very unfortunate and often preventable complication of sepsis. If the infection is treated at the start before the patient becomes septic, it should never lead to amputation. Additionally, if sepsis infections are improperly diagnosed or improperly managed, the delay can lead to a need for amputation. 


Our Oregon medical malpractice lawyers know just how serious amputations due to infections are and are prepared to review you or your loved one’s case.  These types of serious and devastating forms of medical malpractice can be entirely prevented with the proper care and treatment that a patient deserves under the law.  The law of medical malpractice is generally common law, or judge-made law, and reflects the believes of the public at large as to what is reasonable or unreasonable.  This is because medical malpractice is a form of negligence, and negligence reviews what a reasonably prudent physician could have done in similar circumstances.  


This means that medical malpractice cases generally involve a question of fact as to what the standard of care was, whether the defendant breached the standard of care, and whether the breach caused damages to the patient.  This is the important standard that must be followed when reviewing a medical malpractice case in Oregon.  


While it is unfortunate that amputations due to sepsis in Oregon should not occur and should not be caused, that means that proving the standard of care violation is easier to do because it is generally a “never” event.  Or at the least, it is an event that should not occur and therefore it is negligence that it did occur.


Why Do Amputations Occur Due to Sepsis? 


Amputations due to sepsis usually occur as a result of blood clots that develop in the patient’s blood vessels, leading to decreased blood flow to a particular limb, or limbs. If this tissues are deprived of oxygen and other vital nutrients, the tissue begins to die. Amputations most commonly occur in the hands, fingers, feet, toes, legs, and arms. This is as mentioned above a result of a delay in diagnosing or treating an infection that could have been easily treatable had it been properly diagnosed and managed from the start. It should never get to the point of amputation because proper treatment and diagnosis can prevent this from happening. When it gets to this point, the consequences could be unfathomable. 


In addition, the powerful reaction to an infection—known as a septic response—also can cause damage to peripheral nerves, vessels, and tissue in the fingers, toes, hands, and feet.  This means that these parts of the body could suffer serious personal injuries and even devastating damage as a result of the infection.  It can lead to amputations or the loss of limbs.


Oregon Medical Malpractice Leading to Amputations Due to Sepsis


In regard to amputations due to medical malpractice, there are typically three causes. The underlying theme of all of these issues is the failure to properly diagnose and treat a patient in a timely manner, according to standards of care. The general causes of sepsis include the following:


  • Failure to Treat an Infection or Delay in Treating Sepsis – If an infection is not diagnosed in a timely manner or there is a delay in diagnosis, this can result in progression of an infection to sepsis. If sepsis is not identified and treated in a timely manner, this can lead to catastrophic results (i.e. amputation) 
  • Unnecessary Amputations – Limb amputations should not be something immediately considered as a solution. As everyone knows, once a limb is amputated there is no way to reverse that decision. Some medical professionals may resort to amputations too quickly before proper testing and alternative routes are considered. Sometimes amputations could have been prevented entirely if second opinions had been received. 
  • Hospital-Acquired Infections – Hospital-Acquired infections are very serious infections that are a result of a patient contracting an infection while hospitalized or during an appointment or procedure in a hospital or healthcare facility. These infections are typically very hard to treat due to drug resistance. These infections can therefore lead to sepsis and unfortunately amputation. Hospital-Acquired infections are completely preventable therefore is a reason for medical malpractice. 


Proving Amputations Due to Sepsis


Not only will the patient have to prove the violation of the standard of care, but also the causation and damages.  The causation is always the most disputed area of liability in cases where amputations due to sepsis occur.  This is because a defendant will argue that the infection and sepsis were preexisting before the patient got to the hospital.  As a result, the defendant healthcare providers reacted to the condition as it was or the defendants were dealign with a condition that was already causing serious damage to the patient.


But this is not always true.  Our lawyers know that this is a common defense because a healthier provider will try to blame the patent for the medical provider’s mistakes.  That is not acceptable.  The failure to recognize and treat an infection is a very serious instance of negligence, because even a young child knows that an infection is a dangerous thing to have and needs to be quickly treated.  The delay in treating that infection could result in serious personal injuries to an individual who is relying on the care and treatment of the healthcare provider.


Winning Cases from Amputations Due to Sepsis in Oregon


In order to recover compensation for amputations due to sepsis in Oregon lawsuits, a victim must prove the elements of medical malpractice.  But these elements must be proven to a certain degree in order to “persuade” or “convince” the trier of fact (a judge or jury) that the plaintiff is right.  This is known as the burden of persuasion or burden of proof.


While most people know about the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden from criminal cases, the burden in civil cases is not as high as that 98-100% burden of convincing or persuasion.  Rather, in civil cases such as amputations due to sepsis in Oregon, the burden is more likely than not or 51% persuasion in the standard of a “preponderance of the evidence.”  This is easier for a plaintiff to prove, but it also means that a defendant healthcare provider only needs to establish a defense by 50% or more.  


How our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help You


Patients who were victims of sepsis-related amputations due to mistakes made by a physician or healthcare provider in the state of Oregon should call our Oregon medical malpractice lawyers. Amputations due to sepsis due to a healthcare provider’s wrongful acts may be entitled to damages. Damages can be awarded to a victim or victim’s family members amputation-related sepsis. Damages typically include monetary compensation for medical bills, past lost wages, future lost wages, and pain and suffering amongst many other things the victim or family member may be entitled to receive.


Get Our Help Today for Medical Malpractice Claims in Oregon 


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

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