We call attention to Sepsis with a World Sepsis Day but what is Sepsis?

Sepsis occurs when an existing infection in your body triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Instead of fighting the infection your body experiences inflammation internally. Any infection can lead to Sepsis such as pneumonia, abdominal infections, urinary infection, or bloodstream infections. If not treated immediately, Sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death. People with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung diseases or cancer are at a higher risk of developing infections that lead to Sepsis

Most frequently identified germs that cause infections that can develop into Sepsis include Staph (Staphylococcus aureus, E. Coli (Escherichia coli), and some types of Streptococcus.

Look for the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • High heart rate – 90 or greater beats per minute
  • Clammy or sweaty skin
  • Extreme pain or discomfort

If you experience these additional symptoms you could have Severe Sepsis

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Decreased urination
  • Patches of discolored skin
  • Extreme weakness

If someone is unconscious with the above systems they could be in Septic Shock which has a 50% mortality rate. Sepsis itself is not contagious. However, the original infection that led to Sepsis can be contagious.

According to the Center for Disease Control doctors treat over 1.5 million cases of Sepsis every year. Unfortunately, over 250,000 Americans die each year from this life-threatening infection.

If you are experiencing many of these symptoms it is imperative that you see a physician immediately for testing. Neighbors Emergency Centers are equipped with onsite labs to administer testing of blood, urine, wound and mucus secretions. Find the nearest Neighbors Emergency Center location now

If diagnosed with Sepsis, you will be treated with antibiotics, typically through an IV, ensuring there is good blood flow to the organs and treating the source of the original infection. Depending on the severity or stage of Sepsis, dialysis or breathing assistance might be necessary.