How an Infection Could Lead to Amputation: Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains Sepsis

Explaining How an Infection Could Lead to an Amputation Because of Sepsis: Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer


An infection is a commonly known condition which all of us have had at one time or another.  This may be due to a cold or flu, or from an open cut, or after a surgery.  But many people will be surprised to learn that an infection could result in an amputation of a major limb, such as a leg or arm.  This is because an infection which is untreated could lead to sepsis, a very dangerous condition which is not only limb-threatening, but also life-threatening.  While an infection is usually easy to treat, when the infection is allowed to fester and it results in an unnecessary amputation, it could be due to Oregon medical malpractice which should be evaluated by a Bend medical malpractice lawyer.


This is because an infection which leads to sepsis likely could be avoided with the administration of simple antibiotics and other drugs, like a steroid.  Other times proper wound care could avoid, minimize the risk, or even stop an infection before it becomes sepsis.  In these scenarios, infections could be culled quickly enough to preserve a patient’s life or limb.  


What Exactly is an Infection?


An infection is simply an invasion of a substance inside of your body which should not be there.  This is most commonly a bacterial infection or a viral infection, but there are other types.  An infection is typically isolated in one area of the body.  This invasion is usually dealt with your body’s normal attach mechanisms, which include white blood cells.  But when the infection is too strong, resistant, or too numerous/large, that could overwhelm your body’s initial defenses.  This is why your body uses other tricks like raising body temperature to kill off the infection (a fever).  It is usually at this juncture that a person will realize there is an ongoing infection and seek medical attention or treatment.


What is Sepsis and How Can an Infection Cause it?


Sepsis is an unchecked infection which has been allowed to grow and spread throughout the body.  Simply put, think of sepsis like an overpopulation of an infection.  Sepsis usually occurs when an infection is allowed to grow and it overwhelms your body’s natural defenses.  The infection begins to spread and spreads to your bloodstream.  When this occurs, the infection is pumped throughout your body and begins to infection multiple other areas.  Essentially, sepsis is pumping your body full of a poisonous infection.


When the level of the infection is so high, it can create a caustic environment in your body.  This can allow other strains of bacteria or viruses to begin to grow, as well as allow the initial infection to cause very serious damage to your body’s tissue.  The most vulnerable areas to sepsis are the most peripheral parts of your body, which include your fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, and legs.


How Can Sepsis Cause an Amputation?


Sepsis can result in an amputation for several reasons.  First, the large amounts of bacteria are caustic and damages which will begin to injury your body’s tissues.  This is poison for your body and your extremities are most vulnerable.  Conditions such as gangrene could form which turn your healthy tissue necrotic, meaning it will deteriorate and not come back. 


Second, sepsis affects the job that your blood is supposed to do: provide oxygenated blood.  When your bloodstream is made up of heavy doses of bacterial or other foreign substances, your body (mostly your extremities) have less oxygen to work with.  Coupled with the toxic nature of the infection, this is a recipe for severe damage to your limbs.


Unfortunately, if the infection is allowed to fester for so long that sepsis begins, you could sustain such damage to your limbs that your body cannot repair itself.  An amputation will be the only way to save your life.  In very severe cases, your body’s organs will begin to shutdown due to the high concentration of bacteria in your system.  This is how sepsis can cause permanent damage to your body and result in amputations.


Did You Suffer an Amputation After Being Diagnosed with an Infection or Sepsis?  Call Us Today


Under Oregon medical malpractice law, a healthcare provider is required to act as a reasonably prudent healthcare provider would under similar circumstances.  When a healthcare provider fails to identify and treat an infection, or allows an infection to grow to the point of sepsis, it is likely that the healthcare provider has breached this duty to act reasonably for a patient.  This is particularly true if the infection or sepsis results in an amputation.  This further means that the healthcare provider may be negligent in the care and treatment of the patient. 


If you or a loved one have suffered an amputation after an infection or due to sepsis, please call our Bend medical malpractice lawyer to learn what your rights to compensation may be.  We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  To receive a FREE consultation, please call our Bend medical malpractice lawyer by dialing (541) 385-1999 or use our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a FREE investigation to get you the answers that you deserve regarding your birth injury case.

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