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Copyright © 2017 by People Care Institute. All right Reserved. Created by  R2J TECH INC &  Dr F. Pierre-Louis

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is caused by your body’s defense system (immune system) working overtime to fight infection. It’s sometimes called septicemia.

The large number of chemicals released into the blood during this process triggers widespread inflammation. This can lead to organ damage. Blood clotting during sepsis reduces blood flow to limbs and internal organs. This deprives them of nutrients and oxygen. In severe cases, one or more organs may fail. IF YOU THINK YOOU MAY HAVE SEPSIS, YOU MUST GO TO THE CLOSEST HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY.

In the worst cases, sepsis leads to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure. Doctors call this “septic shock.” It can quickly lead to the failure of several organs -- lungs, kidneys, and liver. This can be fatal in some cases.

Sepsis Treatment

If your doctor believes you might have sepsis, he’ll do an exam and run tests to look for the following:

  • Bacteria in the blood or other body fluids

  • The source of the infection (he may use an X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound)

  • A high or low white blood cell count

  • A low platelet count

  • Low blood pressure

  • Too much acid in the blood (acidosis)

  • Altered kidney or liver function

If you do have sepsis, your doctor will likely place you in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). There, he’ll try to stop the infection, keep vital organs functioning, and regulate your blood pressure (IV fluids and extra oxygen can help with this).

Once your doctor knows for sure what’s causing your sepsis, he’ll put you on medicine that targets that specific germ. Often, doctors prescribe vasopressors (drugs that cause the blood vessels to narrow) to improve blood pressure.

If your case is severe, you might need other types of treatment, like a breathing machine or kidney dialysis. Sometimes surgery is needed to drain or clean an infection.

Sepsis Causes and Risk Factors

Bacterial infections are most often to blame. But sepsis can also result from other infections. It can begin anywhere bacteria or fungi or viruses enter the body. So, it could sometimes be caused by something as minor as a scraped knee or nicked cuticle. If you have a more serious medical problem such as appendicitispneumoniameningitis, or a urinary tract infection, you’re also at risk.

If you have an infection that is left uncontrolled and your immune system is overwhelmed, this  could lead to sepsis. In people who are hospitalized, the bacteria that trigger sepsis can enter the body through IV lines, surgical incisions, urinary catheters, pneumonias, and bed sores.

Anyone can get it, but certain groups of people are at greater risk. They include:

  • People whose immune systems are not working well due to illnesses like HIV/AIDS or CANCER

  • People who take drugs that suppress the immune system, like steroids or Biologic agents  and those used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs

  • Very young babies

  • The elderly, especially those with other health problems

  • People who have recently been hospitalized and/or had major surgeries

  • People with diabetes

Sepsis Symptoms

Because it can begin in different parts of the body, this illness can have many different symptoms. The first signs may include rapid breathing and confusion. Other common warning signs include:

  • Fever and chills

  • Very low body temperature

  • Peeing less than normal

  • Rapid pulse

  • Rapid breathing

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Symptoms

If you have sepsis, you already have a serious infection. Early symptoms include fever and feeling unwell, faint, weak, or confused. You may notice your heart rate and breathing are faster than usual. If it's not treated, sepsis can harm your organs, make it hard to breathe, give you diarrhea and nausea, and mess up your thinking.  

Who Gets Sepsis?

  • It’s most common among the elderly, people with a long-term illness (like diabetes or cancer), those with a weakened immune system, and babies less than 3 months old. If you have sepsis you’ll need to be in the hospital to get proper treatment.  

How Do You Get It?

  • You can't catch sepsis from someone else. It happens inside your body, when an infection you already have -- like in your skin, lungs, or urinary tract -- spreads or triggers an immune system response that affects other organs or systems. Most infections don't lead to sepsis.

Sepsis and Pregnancy

  • It's rare, but sepsis can happen when you're pregnant or shortly after pregnancy. Infections can come from bacteria that grow in the birth canal during pregnancy, or from an infection during vaginal births, cesarean sections, or abortions.

Sepsis From Wounds and Burns

  • Wounds, sores, or burns make sepsis more likely. When your skin is torn, bacteria on the outside can get inside. A burn that covers a large area can also throw your immune system out of whack. Most of the time, you're not going to get sepsis when you have a cut or wound. Your body can usually repair itself, with treatment from your doctor if needed.

Sepsis From MRSA

  • MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a staph bacterial infection that resists many types of antibiotics. If it isn’t treated, it can turn into sepsis. When it’s on your skin, MRSA doesn’t cause any problems. But if it gets into your body through a wound, it can.

Septic Shock

  • The most severe stage of sepsis is called septic shock. The heart and circulatory system begin to fail, and blood pressure drops. This slows blood flow to all your organs, and they begin to do poorly.  You’ll be admitted to the hospital ICU to get around-the-clock care.  

Diagnosis

  • To diagnose sepsis, your doctor will ask a lot of questions and examine you carefully.  Do you have a fever? What is your heart rate? Are you breathing fast? Are you thinking clearly, or are you confused? He’ll also do blood tests, and if needed urine tests, a chest X-ray, or CT scan. The earlier you find out and begin treatment, the better.

Treatment

  • Early, aggressive treatment of sepsis is best.  You may be admitted to a monitored bed or most likely go to the ICU.  Your doctor will start you on antibiotics to fight the infection. You’ll also get IV fluids, oxygen, and medicine to keep your blood pressure from falling and to support your body.

After Sepsis

  • People with sepsis can fully recover, though they may be more likely to get it again.  Whether there are lasting effects depends in part on your age, whether you have a long-term disease, or how quickly you got treated for sepsis.  

Consult a Doctor for medical advice or schedule an appointment with us at People Care Institute  for more info !

 

Note: The information you see describes what usually happens with a medical condition, but doesn't apply to everyone. This information isn't a substitute for  medical advice, so make sure to contact a healthcare provider if you have a medical problem. If you think you may have a medical