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New sepsis guidelines may not be helpful

According to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, treatment should begin within an hour after symptoms of the condition are spotted. The 60-minute window begins after an individual arrives in triage. These guidelines were implemented in 2018, and they were designed to help identify and treat sepsis in emergency rooms faster. In the past, treatment could be given over a period of three or six hours. However, evidence suggests that such a condensed timeline could result in people being diagnosed with sepsis who don't actually have it.

This is partially because the limited time to treat a patient could cause stress among those tasked with helping them. If a person doesn't have sepsis, he or she could be harmed by the antibiotics used to combat it. While there are cases in which patients could be misdiagnosed, others argue that sepsis needs to be identified and treated quickly. Patients who were accurately diagnosed and treated for sepsis in a timely manner generally had positive outcomes.

The treatment guidelines call for a nurse or other medical professional to measure lactate levels. If they are elevated, the next step is to collect and analyze a blood sample. From there, antibiotics can be administered if necessary, and vasopressors may be applied if a patient is hypotensive.

If a medical error results in a worsened medical condition, an individual may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. This is generally the case if an error was made by someone who had the tools and experience needed to make an accurate diagnosis. An attorney may use medical records, statements made by a patient and other evidence to show that malpractice occurred. Victims might receive compensation through a settlement or by successfully proving their case to a jury.

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