Sepsis and Septic Shock are
very serious medical conditions. They are infections. They are also
called blood poisoning. Sepsis is an inflammatory condition known
as "systemic inflammatory response syndrome" - "SIRS"
that is caused by infection. In Nursing home settings open bed sores
or pressure ulcers, especially advanced decubitus ulcers (stage
3 or 4) in the coccyx area are very susceptible to infection if
not kept absolutely clean. Bed sore ulcers that become infected
often result in sepsis and eventual death. Sepsis is a toxic wound.
Mortality rates of sepsis: According
to published studies, "2035%" of people with severe
sepsis die and an even higher percentage of people in septic shock
Sepsis is the second most frequent
cause of death in non-coronary intensive care units.
Prompt screening and evaluation is
critical: There are four screening criteria for "SIRS":
(1) elevated heart rate,
(2) elevated respiratory rate or low PCO2, (3) elevated or low temperature,
and (4) high or low white blood cell count. The four
systemic inflammatory response syndrome screening criteria should
be used in evaluating patients' risk for sepsis, and if at two positive
criteria are met, a physician's etreatment of sepsis is needed.
Federal Regulations are in place to prevent the spread of infection
such as Sepsis:
§483.65 Infection Control
The facility must establish and maintain an Infection Control Program
designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment
and to help prevent the development
and transmission of disease and infection.
§483.65(a) Infection Control Program
The facility must establish an Infection Control Program under which
(1) Investigates, controls, and prevents infections in the facility;
(2) Decides what procedures, such as isolation, should be applied
to an individual resident; and
(3) Maintains a record of incidents and corrective actions related
Spread of Infection
(1) When the Infection Control Program determines that a resident
needs isolation to prevent the spread of infection, the facility
must isolate the resident.
(2) The facility must prohibit employees with a communicable disease
or infected skin lesions from direct contact with residents or their
food, if direct contact will transmit the disease.
(3) The facility must require staff to wash their hands after
each direct resident contact for which hand washing is indicated
by accepted professional practice.
§483.25(c) Pressure Sores
Based on the comprehensive Assessment of a resident, the facility
must ensure that--
(1) A resident who enters the facility without pressure sores does
not develop pressure sores unless the individual's clinical condition
demonstrates that they were unavoidable; and
(2) A resident having pressure sores receives necessary treatment
and services to promote healing, prevent
infection and prevent new sores from developing
Call us at
617-479-4300 if a loved one has been severly injured by
a lack of care resulting in Sepsis or Septic Shock.