An editorial published by Annals of Emergency Medicine advances an argument that a care bundle developed by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign may actually increase the risk of inappropriate treatment or misdiagnosis in Kentucky and across the country. The care bundle is supposed to help medical professionals quickly treat and identify sepsis in emergency departments. It is based on guidelines from 2016 and includes a recommendation that certain treatments begin within one hour of identifying sepsis in a patient.
Similar previous care bundles recommended three- or six-hour care bundles. The new one-hour recommendation was designed to shorten the amount of time between recognition and treatment. If the diagnosis is inaccurate, though, the risk of overtreatment or unnecessary treatment is significantly increased. According to researchers, the three- and six-hour care protocols were sufficient to treat many patients and to prevent dangerous complications. Patients who have early-stage sepsis may not need treatment immediately, and there are potentially serious consequences of administering antibiotics and other care to patients who do not need them.
On the other side of the issue, failure to optimally treat sepsis may result in the death of the patient. Researchers also noted that care bundles may erroneously imply that all parts of them are of equal importance while evidence suggests otherwise. Many studies have indicated that timely antibiotic administration was equivalent in efficacy to completing the entire bundle of care. Over-treatment and misdiagnosis of patients can lead to unnecessary complications, injury or death.
People who have suffered injuries due to misdiagnosis or other medical errors might be entitled to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases might help injured parties by gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to build a case for trial. An attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement without the client having to go to court.