Septic shock case, want to sue hospital - ICUsteps

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Septic shock case, want to sue hospital


Dear Members, My father who was 82 years old and had septic shock from pneumonia has died. My question is i belive my father had septic shock before he came into hospital but it took the hospital 9 days before putting him into intensive care, do i have a case against the hospital?

10 Replies

First of all, I am so very sorry about your father. You have my deepest condolences. having lost a parent I can relate to what you must be going through right now.

That said, may I ask why you think he was in septic shock for nine days prior to going to the ICU?

I am a nurse, and a few years ago, I entered the hospital in septic shock and almost died. I was 52 at the time. Like your dad, I had pneumonia. I had "community-acquired pneumonia" or CAP. While in the ICU, I also developed "ventilator-acquired pneumia" and "hospital-acquired pneumonia". This was not fault of the hospital. It was no one's fault. That's how the bacteria behave. Hospitals are the germiest places. One reason they try to get people home so fast is to keep them from getting a hospital acquired infection. Your dad was 82. If he was in septic shock, he never would have lived nine days to make it into the ICU. He may have started getting septic but not septic shock. I don't know what got him into the ICU - if his vital signs were bad, lab results, lack of urine output, poor respiratory effort, etc. Have you asked to have a sit down meeting with a few people who cared for your dad and can explain things to you? Sepsis and septic shock are horrible conditions and can kill people in the prime of their life and in great health prior.

I am so sorry to read this outcome. My condolences to you & your family.

I was rushed into A&E with septic shock at 52, it was touch & go for weeks. I know that I would not haves survived 9 days in such a state outside of ICU.

The hospital will have a PALS team which would deal with any complaint.

Like your previous answer, because I was so immune compromised, I picked up every virus & infection going - it was no-one’s fault.

in reply to Sepsur

Thanks Sepsur for your kind words and im so happy you are doing well now. The fact remains the hospital still put you into ICU pretty much stright away which is the main reason i think you are still alive, had you spent a day or so not in ICT would be dead. That why i believe the NHS has failed me and why i want them to pay

Oh Mark !!

I really feel for you, somehow I missed your last message on your father passing away.

The was sudden "radio silence" and I expected the worst had finally happened.

We are both in similar circumstances with my mother passing away in the emergency room 7 days ago.

Right now as I am typing this message, I realised it was about this exact time 7 days ago I told her she needed to go to hospital.

She lay there in bed - her words to me "please dont send me back to hospital" .

I called her GP, who is a highly skilled ex emergency room doctor.

Her doctor confirmed she had to be admitted.

Her doctor was standing one side of the bed, myself on the other.

My mother lay there looking at me, her eyes begging and pleading not to be sent to hospital.

It was not hospital she was afraid of, but the move to hospital.

My mother was 79, paraplegic, and 2 yrs back underwent a mid knee amputation of the right leg. A later hospital admission resulted in a surgical infection, she was in an isolation ward for 5 months, and only just managed to survive. All of this left her incredibly weak and bedridden. She later landed up with 2 stage 3 pressure ulcers. She already had a weak bladder. Being completely bedridden and with the pressure ulcers, a decision was made to make use of a suprapubic catheter.

She lived on the 4th floor of an apartment building, like most other residential buildings, elevators were never designed for the use of ambulance stretchers.

To move her was quite some challenge for the paramedics. They had to always use a scoop stretcher and transport her at a 45degree angle in the elevator. She would always start to slide down the stretcher, being paraplegic, her legs were unable to stop the slide. On every occasion she would get her by the "safety belts" used with these stretchers.

Adding to the complications, was the presence of the catheter and bag, along with a negative pressure wound therapy pump and its tubes to the wounds.

On 3 occasions she required hospital admissions in this condition.

She was terrified of the ordeal that would repeat itself each time.

The paramedics arrived at 2.00 pm and the ordeal began. She whimpered in pain.

She was admitted to the emergency room at 2.45pm. Despite arriving in critical condition, she never received the required medical attention and treatment, resulting in her death at 5pm.

Her pleading and the look in her eyes will forever haunt me. She was put through the hideous transport ordeal & pain for nothing.

For my part, I am angry, angry and bitter - with myself for putting her through that, and with the hospital.

These are part of the very well documented emotional experiences both of us will go through - grief, anger, guilt etc.

As to medical negligence, give yourself time to grieve. Go through the emotions and turmoil we are both headed into.

There is plenty of time in which you can begin legal proceedings should you choose - usually around 3 years from the time of the incident.

Dont rush into it. Document everything you can remember and the sequence of events.

From time to time, something may spring to memory, you may even think it's not important, but write it down - sometimes what may seem an irrelevant detail at the time, becomes a critical part of evidence later.

Do not engage further with the hospital or it's staff - believe me, they will be noting anything and everything. If you are wanting any further info from the hospital, have your or your father's doctor obtain it.

Do your research, most law firms dealing with medical negligence work on a contingency basis, choose your firm wisely. Research their case history, especially in dealing with matters similar to your father's.

Take your time, you have only one chance at seeking justice.

Keep in mind, law firms assume huge financial risk in there matters, they cherry pick the winnable ones. You need to sell them a winnable case to take on.

Research the hospital & doctors involved as well as the court records related to similar cases.

In these matters, burden of evidence is that of the plaintiff, not defendant.

It's a very long road.

For now, allow yourself time to grieve, at your own pace and time.

Thank you so much Grant_za for all your help and support and i am so sorry for you mother passing too. You know the pain i'm feeling and i wish the best of luck with your case against the hospital. You was wonderful to your mother and tried to do the best you could and your mother knew that. Please keep in touch X

So this evening a copy of the claim submitted by the medical practitioners who run the emergency facility at the hospital arrived.

I'm pretty certain many people find it difficult to believe that an ER dept in this hospital rendered virtually no medical care. It is a premier facility with the very latest of equipment. They have a DaVinci robotic surgery suite, an ECMO unit (which very few hospitals globally have) etc etc

The claim for medical care rendered to my mother by the practitioners who run the facility for the 2.5hrs my mother was under their care contains just two line items, coming to the grand total of ZAR 1129.30 (uk £60.81).

This speaks volumes in itself.

In any event, i've been dealing with the undertakers. Although my mother's wishes were for cremation, I have decided on Aquamation - something unheard of back in the day when the discussion took place.

The process is far more gentle on the body than cremation, I guess it's the very final gesture of compassion I am able to give her.

I have no siblings, nor any relatives in the region. My mother wanted neither a funereal or memorial service - so it will be me, on my own.

The Aquamation takes place on Friday at 10am.

I'll go through, see her body and say my final goodbyes.

I'll probably walk with her to the room containing the Aquamation unit, then wait outside when she is taken in.

I figure I'll remain there and listen to some music when the actual process starts.

I've copied a short playlist of about 10 of her favorite songs to my phone - once that is finished playing (about 30 mins), I'll leave.

It's going to be difficult morning dealing with the finality !!

Hi markmason095

Sorry to hear about your father. However my gp told me I had flu and a pulled muscle 2 days later I was in an enduced coma with sepsis pneumonia multi organ failure amongst other stuff they gave me a 1 % chance at one point. That's what they told my wife. As for making a claim that is your decision. I couldn't do it when we know the NHS do everything in there power to save lives

Dear bunnyrabbit1234,

May asked your age? The reason being i believe the NHS are not good when it comes to "old people" and the care they give you is not the same then if you were young. Of course i dont want to sue the NHS but incomptence can not be accepted when it comes to peoples lifes and i believe if my father has the right treatment he would still be alive now :(

Hi Mark

At this time I suspect like me, you have all sorts of questions about death and what happens at this time - and afterwards.

I would imagine one's religion plays a huge role in all of this.

For my part, I have always been atheist - having said that, not one of those militant anti religion types, I simply have difficulty with certain concepts and organized religion.

This is simply a personal internal thing with me, I absolutely respect and support the choices of others in terms of matters of faith.

Having said all of this, I would absolutely recommend you watch the below videos on YouTube - TED Talks.

I am 100% certain they will bring a little comfort:

"This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Dr. Fleischmann has seen over 2,000 humans die but broad back to life several hundreds of them. In his talk, he shares the near death experiences ("Nahtoderfahrungen") he witnessed as an emergency physician and tells us about one of the most drilling questions of the human kind: how it is to die.

Thomas Fleischmann has been an emergency physician since 1982. Since 2005 he has worked as the director of emergency medical units in Germany and Switzerland. As well as being a fellow of the British College of Emergency Medicine and the European Society for Emergency Medicine, Dr. Fleischmann holds a Master of Health Business Administration. In addition to frequently holding speeches about emergency medicine topics, he is also the editor of two textbooks on emergency medicine and has written many academic papers on the topic."

A second one:

Dr. Christopher Kerr speaks at a 2015 TEDx event Buffalo, New York.

"Dr. Christopher W. Kerr is the Chief Medical Officer at The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, where he has worked since 1999. His background in research has evolved from bench science towards the human experience of illness as witnessed from the bedside, specifically patients’ dreams and visions at the end of life. Although medically ignored, these near universal experiences often provide comfort and meaning as well as insight into the life led and the death anticipated."

Hi Grant_za,

Thank you SO much for this videos, will give them a watch

Many thanks again,


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