Sepsis noncompliance may help to prove negligent care

August 30, 2022 | Crandall & Pera Law
Sepsis noncompliance may help to prove negligent care

When an Ohio health care provider has been proven noncompliant with sepsis measures, it may provide a way of proving negligent care in cases of medical malpractice.

How do these claims work?

Missed sepsis malpractice claims involve voracious experts searching everywhere in ED medical records, leaving no stone unturned as they try to find the evidence they need to show a clear indication that the standard of care wasn't met by a particular provider. Emergency department medical records hold great potential for noncompliance of all kinds.

Two confusing sets of rules that don't always agree

What's causing many of the problems is the fact that there are two separate organizations with which providers are expected to be in compliance. These are CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and SSC (Surviving Sepsis Campaign), each with its own ED standards. The fact that these rules are scarcely aligned with each other at all makes it difficult to understand if you're following both of them at the same time. This makes it all the more important for patients to watch out for themselves by learning what's expected of their doctors so they keep their rights protected every time they go in for a visit. One common point of confusion when it comes to sepsis compliance is the terminology in use. A prime example is the designation, "severe sepsis," which does appear in the SEP-1 measure commonly referred to as the sepsis treatment bundle. But in the SSC guidelines, that term has been removed. Many medical professionals are of the belief that both these organizations place too much emphasis on immediately administering antibiotics in all patient cases without first considering how severe the case of sepsis may be. Compliance issues are as plentiful as they are varied, and the noncompliance of medical professionals may put their patients at a higher risk of sepsis.