Sepsis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is defined as the presence of a Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, and it represents a significant burden for the healthcare system. This is particularly true when it is diagnosed in the setting of nosocomial infections, which are usually a matter of concern with regard to medical liability being correlated with increasing economic costs and people's loss of trust in healthcare. Hence, the Italian governance promotes the clinical risk management with the aim of improving the quality and safety of healthcare services. In this context, the role of medico-legal experts working in a hospital setting is fundamental for performing autopsy to diagnose sepsis and link it with possible nosocomial infections. On the other hand, medico-legal experts are party to the clinical risk management assessment, and deal with malpractice cases and therefore contribute to formulating clinical guidelines and procedures for improving patient safety and healthcare providers' work practices. Due to this scenario, the authors here discuss the role of medico-legal experts in Italy, focusing on sepsis and nosocomial infections.
Keywords: forensic; inflammation; malpractice; medico-legal expert; nosocomial infection; postmortem diagnosis; risk management; sepsis; septic shock.