Skip to main content

Contact us to arrange your
FREE initial consultation

Email us Call me back

Sepsis is a life-threatening, serious complication of infection, which, if untreated, can lead to permanent disability or death. 

Sepsis can affect anyone and often does so without warning, overwhelming the body’s immune system within a matter of hours. Sepsis can be difficult to diagnose but is treatable if caught early.

Healthcare professionals are expected to be alert to the symptoms and signs of sepsis and respond quickly because delays in diagnosis and treatment can be deadly.  

Boyes Turner’s medical negligence team have recovered compensation for many clients with devastating injuries caused by negligently delayed diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. Where serious injury has been caused by sepsis negligence, we secure funding for early rehabilitation, care and specialist equipment, adapted accommodation and purpose-built prostheses. Clients who work with us experience restored mobility, independence and self-esteem. Our clients’ settlements replace lost earnings and can help provide financial security at a time when life is difficult enough for those coping with a new disability.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a serious complication of infection which, without quick treatment, can lead to multiple organ failure and death. Sepsis most commonly develops from infections in the lungs (pneumonia), urinary tract, abdomen and pelvis, but it can arise from infection in any part of the body.

Leading sepsis charity, The UK Sepsis Trust, estimates that in the UK there are around 250,000 cases of sepsis a year. The condition is fatal for 52,000 people a year, that’s 20% of those affected. In the UK, there are more deaths from sepsis than from breast and bowel cancer combined and many of the survivors are left permanently disabled.

‘Severe sepsis’(affecting the organs or reducing blood and oxygen supply to the tissues) and ‘septic shock’ (where blood pressure becomes dangerously low) are medical emergencies. These advanced forms of the condition require immediate admission to hospital and emergency treatment with intravenous antibiotics. However, in its early stages, before the infection has spread or caused damage to other areas of the body, sepsis may sometimes be treatable with oral antibiotics at home.

Early recognition and immediate antibiotic treatment are the key to successful recovery from sepsis. With correct medical care, lasting, full recovery, without long-term consequences is possible. Sepsis strikes quickly but the condition is treatable.

Recent cases

  • £1.3m settlement for a man who developed sepsis and needed a below-knee amputation after a GP practice nurse failed to refer his infected (diabetic) foot wound for multidisciplinary foot care treatment.  Our client's urgent needs were met with a £175,000 interim payment whilst the case was adjourned for a trial of prosthesis. 
  • £750,000 compensation for a client who suffered amputation of her left hand, the fingers and thumb on her right hand, the toes on her left foot, and her right leg below the knee, and psychological injury,  after negligent treatment of post-operative sepsis and necrotising fasciitis. She  suffered septic shock, multi-system organ failure, ischaemia, brachial thrombosis and peripheral vascular compromise, causing gangrene in her hands and feet. She contacted us after her previous solicitors told her that her claim could not be pursued. We pursued the strongly defended claim and secured an out of court settlement which enabled our client to pay for prostheses, therapies, necessary equipment, an adapted car and adaptations to her home.
  • £500,000 compensation for a woman who suffered septicaemia and bowel injuries leaving her with a permanent colostomy after mistakes during surgery to remove an ovarian cyst and subsequent treatment delays. The hospital maintained its strong denial of liability throughout the case but ultimately made an acceptable settlement offer shortly before trial.
  • £290,000 compensation for a man who suffered faecal peritonitis, septic shock and multi-system failure after negligent bowel surgery. He was left with a permanent injuries including a colostomy, incisional hernias, extensive scarring from surgery and skin grafting.
  • £165,000 compensation for a client who was left with severe bowel dysfunction, leg weakness and a psychological injury after hospital delays in recognising and treating a surgical injury to his bowel led to extensive intra-abdominal sepsis, peritonitis, kidney stones and bladder problems, incisional hernias and a faecal fistula.
  • £95,000 compensation and a formal apology for the family of a woman who died in hospital after A&E delays in the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. Vital antibiotic treatment was delayed for four hours whilst hospital staff failed in 18 attempts to insert the cannula needed to administer the antibiotic medication, before calling a registrar to place a central line. The woman died from septic shock  before treatment was administered.

What counts as sepsis medical negligence?

Sepsis is treatable if caught early, but it can be difficult to diagnose as early symptoms can be confused with other less serious conditions. Where sepsis is suspected, antibiotic treatment must be started immediately if serious injury is to be avoided. Every minute counts in stopping the spread and advancement of the disease.

NHS England has issued guidance to NHS Trusts which is intended to improve the speed of diagnosis and treatment for patients arriving in A&E departments with symptoms of sepsis. The guidance requires hospital staff to alert senior doctors if patients with suspected sepsis do not respond to treatment within an hour.

Correct treatment for sepsis involves:

  • quick recognition
  • quick administration of intravenous antibiotics
  • quick involvement of senior doctors

We have helped patients who have been severely injured and families of those who have died after:

  • delays or failure to refer a patient with symptoms of sepsis to hospital
  • delays or failure to admit the patient to hospital
  • delays in diagnosing, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose sepsis
  • delays or failure in carrying out appropriate tests
  • misinterpretation of test results
  • delays in administering urgent IV antibiotics
  • delay or failure in calling for senior medical review of the patient
  • sending home a patient with sepsis
Read more

How Boyes Turner help clients after sepsis negligence

Boyes Turner’s medical negligence team have helped secure compensation for many clients with severe, permanent disability, including multiple amputation, which was caused by delays in diagnosis and incorrect treatment of sepsis. We have also recovered compensation for bereaved dependent family members of those whose who have died as a result of sepsis negligence.

We have decades of experience in serious injury claims and understand the devastation that untreated life-threatening infectious conditions leave behind. When acting for clients with severe injury, we aim to secure liability admissions and judgments as quickly as possible. This approach means that we can obtain interim funding to get rehabilitation started, and independence and participation in work/family life restored.

Our clients’ high value compensation awards and settlements give them early access to rehabilitation, bespoke prostheses, specialist equipment, therapies, care and adaptations to housing. Compensation can also ease the financial hardship which follows the loss or reduction of the injured provider’s or the deceased’s loss of earnings.

Where the injured client is a child, Boyes Turner’s uniquely integrated, multi-disciplinary legal team can help them secure educational placements or support for children with special educational needs (SEN) arising from disabling injuries.

Our clinical negligence lawyers support the valuable work of leading sepsis charity, the UK Sepsis Trust. We are committed to helping raise awareness of the signs, symptoms and seriousness of sepsis and the dangers of delays in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating disease.

Read more

What causes sepsis?

What are the signs of sepsis?

What is the treatment for sepsis?

Who is at risk of sepsis?

What are the long-term side effects of sepsis?

How much compensation can I claim for sepsis negligence?

How much compensation can you get for medical negligence?

How to make a medical negligence claim?

How long do medical negligence claims take?

How to fund a medical negligence claim?

Will I need a medical examination if I make a medical negligence claim for compensation?

Can I make a claim on behalf of a child?

What can medical negligence compensation pay for?

What is HSSIB?

How can you prove medical negligence?

Is there a time limit for claiming medical negligence compensation?

Will I need to go to court to claim medical negligence compensation?

What is causation in medical negligence claims?

Can I claim against the NHS?

Who can make a medical negligence claim?

What is MNSI?

Sepsis negligence cases

View all

Awards & Accreditations

Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

             Brake | The Road Safety Charity

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

See more

"Julie Marsh is a first rate litigator"

Julie Marsh is a first rate litigator who adds real value to all her cases. I have always been impressed not just by her expertise as a clinical negligence lawyer but by the way she treats every client as an individual and works on their case as if it is the most important thing in the world, which to many clients it really is.

King's Counsel

"You have given fantastic support and guidance"

Boyes Turner have a great asset in Julie Marsh, she has handled my case with such professionalism and has kept me informed at every stage over the 6 years. She has given me guidance, support and that personal touch where I could ring or email at any time and she would always answer and give me answers to any questions I had. Would recommend without hesitation. Thank you

Boyes Turner Client

"I have been impressed"

Tara Byrne kept me well informed at all stages of my claim. I have been impressed with the way my case was handled, and the time scale within which a settlement was reached.”

Boyes Turner Client

"Very Professional "

Boyes Turner helped me through one of the toughest times in my life. They were very professional whilst remaining friendly. At times the process was emotionally tough but they were very patient with me and went through everything with me until I understood it. I cannot recommend them enough. 

Boyes Turner Client

"We cannot thank Susan and her team at Boyes Turner enough"

Words cannot express how grateful we are to Susan and her team for the level of commitment and dedication shown to our family during a time which would be difficult for anyone. Susan demonstrates a calm professional manner which helped us to feel at ease. Her level of knowledge has proven to be the best in the field and we fully recommend her to anyone seeking to investigate birth injury claims. You can be confident that Susan and her team will scrutinise the medical notes thoroughly and will keep you well informed throughout the process. We are very pleased with the outcome of our child’s case and know that her work has resulted in justice being achieved. Our family will now be able to move forward in the knowledge that the finances are securely in place for our child to receive a suitable care package, purchase equipment and receive necessary lifelong therapy. We cannot thank Susan and her team at Boyes Turner enough.

Boyes Turner Client