Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Sepsis boom presents a scary situation for doctors, patients

Would you believe that every year about 750,000 people in the United States is stricken with some type of blood infection? According to a new study, this is the case. Sepsis is booming even though hospitalization rates are down. This new study, which was recently presented to the American Thoracic Society, says that from 2000 to 2010, sepsis-related deaths from hospital patients jumped from 45,000 to 135,000.

The study also looked at 6.5 million hospital patients in 2010, and found that about 52 percent of the patients that died had a blood disease. Researchers determined that the death rate was 10 percent for those with sepsis while those without the blood infection had a death rate of 1 percent.

The most frustrating thing about sepsis, other than its somewhat-mysterious and fatal nature, is that it is very expensive to treat. According to the study, one-fifth of all hospital charges were related to sepsis -- and according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, sepsis hospitalizations cost $24 billion annually. This is a very serious problem that could not only leave patients with fatal complications, but it could also leave them and their loved ones with huge medical bills.

Sepsis is often present in a patient when they are admitted to a hospital -- but that doesn't mean that it gets diagnosed properly or in a timely fashion. It is also entirely possible for a hospital or doctor to be the root cause of a patient suddenly becoming infected with sepsis, possibly through tainted medical tools or devices.

Source: HealthDay News, "Blood Infections Play Role in Up to Half of Hospital Deaths: Study," May 19, 2014

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