What is sepsis?
Sepsis is a life-threatening toxic response of your body to an infection. Most cases of sepsis originate in a bacterial infection. Many people who develop sepsis have an underlying medical condition, such as a weakened immune system or chronic illness. Sepsis is the leading cause of deaths in hospitals in the US.
What are the symptoms of sepsis?Signs and symptoms that a person has sepsis include one or more of the following:
- Clammy or sweaty skin
- Confusion or disorientation
- Extreme pain or discomfort
- Fast or weak pulse
- Fever, shivering, or feeling excessively chilled
- Shortness of breath
How dangerous is sepsis?Sepsis is a medical emergency. According to the CDC, about 1.7 million adult Americans develop sepsis annually. Of these, about 350,000 either die in the hospital or are discharged to hospice.
However, as many as 80% of sepsis deaths could have been prevented if detected and treated early. For every hour of delay of treatment, the risk of dying of sepsis increases by 8%.
What can you do to reduce your risk of getting sepsis?Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently. Clean skin injuries and keep them covered until they are healed.
Prevent infections by caring for chronic conditions and getting recommended vaccinations.
Know the potential signs of sepsis. If an infection seems to be getting worse, seek medical attention immediately.
For additional information, please see:
- What is sepsis? https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/what-is-sepsis.html
- Sepsis- Symptoms, causes and risk factors: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sepsis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351214
- Sepsis Awareness Month: https://www.sepsis.org/get-involved/sepsis-awareness-month/.