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Medical Malpractice & Hospital Negligence Attorney reviewing delayed diagnosis and failure to diagnose cases for Injured Plaintiffs Nationwide
Nationwide Success

Failure to Diagnose Sepsis Lawsuits

investigating hospital misdiagnosis & delayed diagnosis

Sepsis is the body’s toxic life-threatening response to infection that commonly leads to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. The immune system, when functioning properly, works to fight off dangerous bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites in order to prevent infection.

If an infection is present, the immune system attempts to fight it, often with the help of antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics. Sometimes, however, the immune system turns on itself, and triggers a septic response.

Sepsis is an acute illness requiring urgent treatment to prevent permanent injury and death. Sepsis can begin with merely a minor infection and the body can self-destruct by attacking its own tissue and internal organs. Sepsis misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or a Diagnostic Error can lead to wrongful death and the premature loss of a loved one.

Joe Lyon is an experienced medical malpractice lawyer and delayed diagnosis attorney investigating sepsis misdiagnosis lawsuits and failure to diagnose cases for plaintiffs nationwide.

What Causes Sepsis?

Sepsis is caused by an overwhelming immune response to an existing infection. The body works to combat the infection, releasing chemicals that may trigger a more widespread inflammation. Sepsis can lead to blood clots and leaking blood vessels. The inflammation and clotting can impair blood flow and deprive organs of nutrients and oxygen.

Blood pressure drops, and septic shock will lead to organs like lungs, kidneys, liver to fail. Sepsis is a major issue in hospitals, and a large reason many patients are readmitted to hospitals.

There are several types of microbes that can cause sepsis, though bacteria—often antibiotic-resistant bacteria—are the most common cause. In some sepsis cases, bloodstream infection cannot be detected, and doctors may fail to diagnose sepsis.

It’s possible for sepsis to develop from simply a small cut that gets infected or an infection that develops after a hospital stay.

Delayed Sepsis Diagnosis

Certain groups of individuals are more susceptible to sepsis, including patients with diabetes, cancer, HIV infection or those who are immunosuppressed. The elderly and newborns are at a higher risk, and physicians should be aware of a patient’s vulnerabilities.

It is crucial for hospital staff, nurses, nurse practitioners, and doctors to recognize the signs of sepsis and septic shock before a patient succumbs to the dangerous condition. Common symptoms may include the following:

  • Extremes of body temperature
  • Frantic breathing patterns
  • Rapid heartbeat with rapid deterioration
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Deteriorating mental state
  • Decrease of systolic blood pressure
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Unusual skin problems
  • High levels of lactic acid in the blood


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

Delayed Sepsis Treatment

Sepsis develops in more than 1.5 million hospital patients each year in the United States, and claims tens of thousands of lives. There has been an increased rate of sepsis deaths in the last two decades, and delayed sepsis treatment is suspected in many wrongful death cases. This increased rate of sepsis cases is likely due to several factors, including:

  • An increased ability to diagnose sepsis
  • People with chronic diseases are living longer
  • Antibiotic-resistant infections often lead to sepsis
  • Organ transplant operations are more common

Even one hour can make a difference in diagnosing and treating sepsis before septic shock can claim a life. There are hospital guidelines established for diagnosing and treating sepsis, and when these guidelines are not followed, a malpractice lawsuit may be viable. Delayed treatment and delayed antibiotic treatment can contribute to septic deaths.

Doctors typically treat sepsis patients in intensive care units. The goal is stopping the infection, protecting vital organs, and preventing a drop in blood pressure. The treatment almost always includes antibiotic medications.

Sepsis Misdiagnosis Lawsuits

Delayed treatment of a failure to diagnose sepsis can be devastating and deadly. Severe injury and fatal outcomes can be prevented, however, when doctors and nurses remain cautious and perform their duties as medical professionals.

Amputations, brain injuries and death are not uncommon following sepsis misdiagnosis, and legal action may be necessary to hold those liable responsible and prevent future injuries to other patients.

Sepsis survivors may have permanent organ damage. There is also evidence that serious cases of sepsis disrupt a person’s immune system, making them more at risk for future infections.

Healthcare facilities and staff should be aware of all the warning signs of sepsis and septic shock, particularly with diabetics and cancer patients at higher risk.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious, permanent injury or preventable death, due to a delayed treatment, failure to diagnose sepsis misdiagnosis, you may be able to recover medical costs, long-term disability and other damages.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing sepsis misdiagnosis cases
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are Failure-to-Diagnose Cases important?

When hospital management or individual medical professionals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Failure to diagnose infection lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 


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Questions about Medical Malpractice

how is sepsis diagnosed?
  1. Bacteria in the blood or urine
  2. X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound
  3. An abnormal white blood cell count
  4. A low platelet count
  5. Low blood pressure
  6. Too much acid in the blood 
  7. Abnormal kidney or liver function
What are the stages of sepsis?

The three stages of sepsis include sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. When the immune system goes to work due to an infection, sepsis may develop as a result.

How is sepsis treated?
  1. Antibiotics
  2. Intravenous fluids
  3. Vasopressors
What is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Hospitals, medical staff, nurses and doctors are responsible for providing proper patient care. When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties.

Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.

Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis, it is simply propaganda created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked.

Currently, 90 percent of juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.

What if a hospital makes me an offer directly?

Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.

We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer present. Hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel.

The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.

Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.

If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim.

There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement.

The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.

If a hospital is approaching you or a family member about a settlement without a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice lawyer, please call (800) 513-2403 for a free consultation.

Why hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results 

Learn About the Legal Process

Video: Investigating Medical Malpractice

The process for investigating a medical malpractice claims involves the following steps: 

  1. Gather a full and informed history from the family addressing their concerns and thoughts on what went wrong; 
  2. Gather the complete medical records including film studies, if any; 
  3. Review of the records and applicable medical literature by attorneys; 
  4. Review of the records by a qualified physician practicing in the relevant areas on standard of care and causation; 
  5. Final consultation with expert to review opinions;
  6. Signing of Affidavit of Merit by the Expert before case filing, for cases where medical malpractice is identified. 
Medical Malpractice Settlements

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against hospitals and physicians due to medical negligence to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.


$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.