Common Signs of Sepsis in Atlanta

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness that is caused by the body’s response to an infection. It is important for those living in Atlanta to be able to spot the symptoms of the disease before their condition worsens.

A dedicated sepsis misdiagnosis lawyer could help patients identify their symptoms. Speak with an attorney at our firm today to discuss the common signs of sepsis in Atlanta.

Common Symptoms and Signs Sepsis

The three stages of this disease are sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. Each stage is associated with unique symptoms.


A probable or confirmed infection is one of the most common signs of sepsis. Signs of sepsis may also include:

  • Fever above 101 degrees,
  • Temperature below 96.8 degrees,
  • Heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute, or
  • Breathing rate higher than 20 breaths per minute.

Severe Sepsis

During the severe sepsis stage, patients may begin to experience organ failure. Signs of organ failure could include:

  • Discolored skin,
  • Decreased urination,
  • Chills or extreme weakness,
  • Breathing problems,
  • Changes in cognition or mental ability,
  • Low blood platelet counts,
  • Abnormal heart functioning, or
  • Loss of consciousness.

Septic Shock

Someone going into septic shock might show any of the symptoms listed above. In this final stage of the disease, patients may also experience low blood pressure or hypotension. Anyone who has been misdiagnosed, or has had a loved one misdiagnosed, should consider talking to a local attorney about the common signs of sepsis they were showing.

Process of Diagnosing Sepsis in Atlanta

Medical professionals should begin the diagnosis process by asking patients questions about their medical history and the nature of their symptoms. Then, a clinician should perform a physical exam to gain a better understanding of how these signs and symptoms are manifesting themselves in the patient’s body.

Performing Diagnostic Tests

Once a physician has reviewed a patient’s history and performed a physical, he or she can order different tests. In those tests, medical providers are trying to find the source of the infection that is causing the sepsis.

Fluid samples such as blood or urine are often used to determine if the patient has an infection. Doctors may analyze these samples for signs of low or high white blood cell counts, low platelet counts, acid in the blood, or any other signs of sepsis. Changes in kidney or liver functions could also be an indication that a patient is suffering from sepsis.

If an individual has an open wound a medical provider might take a culture of it to determine if it is the source of infection. Additionally, physicians may order imaging tests such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, or ultrasounds, which can help in making a diagnosis.

Common Misdiagnoses Errors

There are many other diseases that mimic sepsis. Conditions such as acute stroke, acute myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, hemorrhage, anaphylaxis, aspiration, deep-vein thrombosis, and pancreatitis all have symptoms similar to sepsis. A skilled lawyer could review a patient’s case to determine if a reasonable doctor would have been able to identify sepsis in another person showing similar symptoms.

Treating the Disease

Early and aggressive treatment may increase a patient’s chance of survival. There are a number of medications such as antibiotics that could be used to treat someone with sepsis. Patients are often initially given broad spectrum antibiotics.

Once the medical providers know what particular bacteria is causing the infection, they can prescribe a more appropriate antibiotic. For patients who are struggling with hypotension, physicians may give them vasopressors to help increase their blood pressure.

Then depending on the severity of an individual’s condition, there may be a need for surgical intervention to remove the infection. Those who were not given adequate treatment despite showing common symptoms of sepsis should discuss their experiences with a lawyer.

Talk to an Attorney About the Common Signs of Sepsis in Atlanta

Anyone experiencing symptoms of sepsis should seek immediate medical care. The sooner you are diagnosed, the greater the chance of survival and recovery.

If you or a loved one have not received the proper diagnosis or treatment for sepsis, a misdiagnosis lawyer may be able to help. Call our office today to discuss the common signs of sepsis in Atlanta with one of our seasoned attorneys.