Personal injury lawyer Paul Cahill answers questions about sepsis

According to a 2011 report from Statistics Canada, sepsis is one of the leading causes of death in Canada, accounting for one in every 18 deaths. While most sepsis cases are unavoidable, a few are caused by medical errors such as delayed diagnosis or treatment. In the following Q&A, Will Davidson LLP personal injury lawyer Paul Cahill answers some common questions about sepsis and how a medical malpractice lawyer can help.

What is sepsis and what are some of its symptoms?

Paul Cahill: Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s immune system responds to infection and causes injury to its own tissues and organs. Common signs and symptoms include fever, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and confusion.

How is sepsis diagnosed?

PC: Sepsis is diagnosed by a physician based on clinical evaluation (examination of patient’s body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate), as well as laboratory investigations, including analysis of blood gases and white blood cells. Early detection and rapid response to sepsis is essential to avoid potentially devastating outcomes.

Can I bring a claim for medical malpractice as a result of Sepsis?

PC: Yes, it is possible to bring a malpractice claim as a result of injury or death from sepsis. If there is a concern that there was an unreasonable delay in diagnosing and/or treating sepsis in yourself or a family member, you may want to consult a personal injury lawyer about potential legal remedies.

What should I take to my meeting with a personal injury lawyer?

PC: Please bring to a lawyer any relevant medical records and/or the results of complaints to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario ( or other governing colleges over regulated health professionals.

When a patient enters a hospital in Ontario, they are entitled to certain standard of care. When an injury is incurred as a result of a failure to uphold this standard of care, medical malpractice may have occurred. If you, a friend, or a member of your family has been injured in a medical environment, contact Will Davidson LLP today to speak with an experienced medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer. Our team can assess the validity of your claim and guide you on your path to compensation and recovery.

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