The nature of a spinal cord injury means that medical professionals have to be on the lookout for other conditions when they are caring for a person with this type of injury. One of the particularly problematic issues that might manifest is sepsis. Oftentimes, this occurs in response to an infection, such as a urinary tract infection, that is due to the effects of the damage to the spinal cord.
A person who is septic is facing a life-threatening condition. This can make the person's blood pressure drop to unsafe levels that prevent proper oxygenation of the vital organs and extremities. This can lead to organ failure and tissue perfusion.
Doctors and nurses should be vigilant about watching for signs of sepsis. These include edema in the face, neck or extremities, elevated temperatures of 101.3 or higher or lowered temperatures of 97 degrees or lower, a rapid heart rate of 90 beats per minute or an elevated respiration rate of more than 20 beats per minute.
The infection that is causing the sepsis must be addressed promptly. This is usually done using antibiotics. It is also common for patients to need to have intravenous fluids or supplemental oxygen. Medications might be prescribed for inflammation, blood glucose level control, pain management and blood pressure control.
When sepsis isn't caught early, it is possible for the patient to suffer greatly. There are instances in which a legal claim against the medical team might be appropriate. If you have faced undiagnosed or a delay in diagnosis sepsis, you should explore your options for seeking compensation.