After your accident, doctors told you that you suffered from a spinal cord injury. Whether you will achieve a full recovery depends on a variety of factors, but at least temporarily, you are paralyzed. This situation presents enough of a challenge to your life, but you face other dangers as well. You need to be aware of some secondary conditions you could suffer from that could not only require medical intervention but could threaten your life as well.
One of the conditions you are now vulnerable to is sepsis. If you contract an infection you don’t know about soon enough because of your spinal cord injury, it could turn into sepsis, which is a condition in which your body’s immune system goes into overdrive and begins attacking your body. Make no mistake, this condition is life-threatening, and if it turns into septic shock, your situation becomes even more dire.
What to watch for
Of course, having a spinal cord injury, you and your medical team should be mindful of checking for infections from bedsores, pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, a wound or more. Even so, since it is easy to miss something, an infection could go unnoticed. If you begin to suffer from the following symptoms, you could suffer from sepsis:
- A fever over 101.3 degrees
- A body temperature below 97 degrees
- An increase in your respiratory rate at 20 breaths per minute or more
- An increase in heart rate at 90 beats per minute or above
- An elevated blood sugar (if you don’t have diabetes)
- Excess fluid causing swelling in your face, neck and extremities
You could also become confused and even fall into a coma. Left unchecked for too long, sepsis could begin damaging your organs. It can also cause an array of other problems, including a dangerous drop in your blood pressure. The sooner you get to a doctor if you suffer from these symptoms, the higher the chances are that treatment will work and allow you to recover from sepsis.
Seeking compensation for your condition
Sepsis is just one of many secondary conditions you will need to watch for and receive medical attention for in the coming months, perhaps years. When you add the medical considerations of paralysis to the already strained financial position you may find yourself in because you may not be able to work, the stress can quickly become overwhelming. Research shows that stress can hinder your recovery since it has real physical manifestations.
Instead of allowing the stress to overtake your life, you could consult with an attorney about filing a personal injury claim against the party or parties you believe to be responsible for your current predicament. You may find that filing a lawsuit is the most appropriate way of pursuing the compensation you need now and in the future.