In cases of meningococcal septicaemia, bacterial toxins can attack the lining of blood vessels and they start to leak, causing the rash of septicaemia, which can develop into larger purple areas of skin. At the same time, blood clots can form making it even harder for blood to carry oxygen to all areas of the body. To maintain circulation to the vital organs (the brain, liver, kidneys, heart and lungs) the circulatory system reduces the blood supply to the extremities such as the hands and feet. When skin and tissue loses their blood supply, they are also starved of oxygen so that patches can eventually blacken and die, leading ultimately to amputation.


Similarly, when someone has sepsis, the body’s clotting mechanism begins to work overtime. Tiny blood clots form throughout the blood system, making it difficult for blood to get to the organs and tissues. As the small blood clots add up, they can block the blood vessels completely. As nutrients cannot get to the tissues in the fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet, and legs, the skin can begin to die suffer. At first, the skin may look mottled, bluish purple, and then black as the tissue dies. Dead tissue has to be removed because it can cause infection to spread. If the gangrenous area is small enough, the surgeon may be able to remove just enough to stop the spread. However, if the damage is extensive, amputation may again be needed

How we can help

The avoidance of amputation in these cases depends crucially upon prompt diagnosis, referral and the full range of available investigations and treatment. Our team of specialist amputation lawyers are here to help if you or your loved one has been affected by amputation because meningitis or sepsis. We can help you get the answers you need if you think that something might have gone wrong.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Meningitis and sepsis can be linked in several ways. Meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, while sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s immune response to an infection causes widespread inflammation throughout the body.

In some cases, meningitis can lead to sepsis if the infection spreads from the brain or spinal cord to the bloodstream. This can occur if the infection is not treated promptly or if the immune system is not able to control the infection. When the infection spreads to the bloodstream, it can cause sepsis, which can lead to multiple organ failure and even death if not treated promptly.

Additionally, sepsis can sometimes lead to meningitis if the infection spreads from another part of the body to the brain or spinal cord. This can occur if the bacteria or virus causing the infection enters the bloodstream and then crosses the blood-brain barrier, which normally prevents pathogens from entering the brain.

If you or a loved one has suffered from sepsis or meningitis due to medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide an adequate standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient.

In order to make a claim for sepsis or meningitis, you will need to show that your amputation was caused by medical negligence leading to meningitis and sepsis.

You can make a claim for sepsis or meningitis if you were a patient in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility, or if you received treatment from a healthcare provider outside of a hospital setting, such as a primary care physician or specialist. You may also be able to make a claim if a loved one died as a result of sepsis or meningitis caused by medical negligence.

Yes, there are time limits on making an amputation claim. The time limit for making a medical negligence claim, including claims related to amputation due to meningitis and sepsis, is three years from the date of the injury or from the date when the claimant became aware, or should have become aware, of the injury.

There are some exceptions to this time limit. For example, if the claimant was under the age of 18 at the time of the injury, the three-year time limit does not begin until their 18th birthday. Similarly, if the claimant lacks capacity to manage their affairs, there is no time limit for making a claim.

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