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Bloodstream Infections

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2020 | Personal Injury

By Pendergast Law on January 23, 2020

A bloodstream infection (BSI) is an infection where bacteria have entered your bloodstream and cause signs of infection throughout your body, including fevers, chills, and low blood pressure. Also called blood poisoning, BSIs can occur naturally, but most BSIs are secondary infections – meaning an infection in one part of your body spread into your bloodstream. Bloodstream infections can be very dangerous, and if not correctly treated, can lead to severe injury or death.

Complications and symptoms of bloodstream infections

Bloodstream infections can have serious and life-threatening complications, including internal organ failure, inability to breathe, loss of consciousness, and more. Some of the common early symptoms of bloodstream infections are:

  • Fever and chills
  • Low temperature
  • Inability to urinate
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms (especially when they are unusual or stronger than usual), you must get to a doctor immediately. BSIs tend to spread and escalate rapidly, so any delay in getting treatment increases the risk of severe complications and death.

Causes of bloodstream infections

While BSIs can come from many sources, some of the most common are:

  • Arterial infection from an IV medication or other types of catheters in a hospital
  • Open wounds that are exposed to bacteria in the open air
  • Injuries (whether natural or surgical) that don’t have the bandage changed often enough
  • Abdominal infection
  • An infected insect bite
  • Dental extraction or infected teeth
  • Kidney or urinary tract infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Skin infections

Any patient being treated for an illness or injury with a catheter in their body, especially in a primary artery (called a central line), is at risk of infection with even the smallest lapse in hygiene.

Compensation you may be eligible for

While compensation can never replace the loss of time, life, and pain, it can lessen the burden and alleviate stress and worry. You may be eligible for compensation for:

  • Medical bills (immediate and future)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Wrongful death
  • Loss of consortium (the loss of the comfort and company of a loved one)

Such infections can result in extended hospital stays, pain, discomfort, and, in some cases, death.