Sepsis

Anybody can get an infection and almost every infection can lead to sepsis

What is sepsis and who does it affect

The CDC defines Sepsis as the bodies radical and toxic response to an infection, and it is a life-threatening emergency that requires rapid diagnosis and treatment.  Without rapid diagnosis and treatment sepsis can quickly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.       

Sepsis is a medical emergency caused by the bodies response to an infection and is the result of inflammation in the body. This inflammation and blood clotting reduces blood flow to limbs and the bodies vital organs and can lead to organ failure and even death.                       

Sepsis can occur in anybody affected by infection, injury, or non-communicable diseases but both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify the following

Those at high risk

  • Adults 65 years of age or older
  • Pregnant of recently pregnant women
  • People with chronic conditions (Lung, liver, heart)
  • People with weaker immune systems (AIDS, Diabetes)
  • People with recent severe illness or hospitalization
  • Neonates

signs & symptoms

  • Fever or low temperature and shivering
  • Altered mental status
  • Difficulty breathing/rapid breathing
  • increased heart rate
  • Weak pulse/low blood pressure
  • Low urine output
  • Cyanotic or mottled skin
  • Cold extremities
  • Extreme body pain or discomfort (5-7)

A medical assessment by a healthcare clinician is needed to diagnose sepsis but understanding symptoms is critical.

how to stay ahead of sepsis

  • Take good care of yourself, especially if you are suffering from chronic health conditions
  • Get doctor recommended vaccinations
  • Wash your hands frequently and keep cuts clean and covered until they are healed
  • Know and recognize the signs of sepsis onset
  • Quickly get medical attention from a healthcare professional

Here are some great resources from the CDC for Sepsis

Suspecting sepsis is the first major step and can lead to early recognition and diagnosis

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