Tags: Health Topics | sepsis | infections | inflammation | immune system | centers for disease control and prevention

Protect Yourself Against Deadly Sepsis

sepsis occurs when the body goes into overdrive while fighting an infection
Once misleadingly called blood poisoning or a bloodstream infection, sepsis occurs when the body goes into overdrive while fighting an infection, sort of friendly fire that injures its own tissue. (Janice Carr/CDC via AP)

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 09:35 AM

Sepsis is a sneaky and deadly complication of fighting off infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the immune system goes into overdrive, releasing chemicals into the body to fight the infection. This causes a chain reaction, triggering dangerous inflammation throughout the entire body.

“Things get out of whack and you end up with something more serious than the infection itself,” Dr. Anthony Fiore, chief of epidemiology research and innovations at the CDC tells AARP bulletin.

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitals throughout the United States. More than 1.6 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with sepsis each year—one every 20 seconds-- and the incidence is raising each year by 8 percent. According to the Sepsis Alliance, 258,000 Americans die from sepsis annually—one every two minutes. These startling and frightening statistics show how important it is to protect yourself from this deadly disease.

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, amputations, and death. It’s more likely to affect very young children, older adults, people with chronic diseases and those with a weakened immune system.  

While many people fully recover from sepsis, others are left with long lasting effects such as missing limbs or organ dysfunction. Other after effects of sepsis are less obvious, such as memory loss, anxiety or depression.

The Sepsis Alliance has developed the “It’s About TIME” campaign to help educate the public about this deadly disease. Here is the acronym for common symptoms:

  • Temperature: A fever about 101 degrees Fahrenheit or temperature falling below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit accompanied by shivering or feeling hot.
  • Infection: Signs include elevated blood sugar levels in those with diabetes, wounds or sores that have redness or foul-smelling drainage, says Dr. Chirag Choudhary, a critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Mental decline: Sepsis can cause confusion, disorientation, or even extreme sleepiness
  • Extremely Ill: Those with sepsis may feel extreme pan or discomfort, have weakness or difficulty breathing.

If you suspect sepsis, its important to seek immediate medical attention.

“Sepsis must be treated as a medical emergency,” says Choudhary. “Death from sepsis increases with every hour that passes before treatment begins.”

Here are timely tips on prevention:

  • Keep chronic conditions under control. People with diabetes need to watch their glucose levels and take care of their skin. If any wound or sore is not responding to treatment, see a health care professional.
  • Get vaccinated. Stay on top of shots, such as the flu shot, says Fiore. Pneumonia is the number one cause of sepsis.
  • Practice good hygiene. Make sure caregivers wash their hands frequently and wear gloves when attending to patients. Bedridden patients should be turned and repositioned every two hours to prevent bed sores, says Choudhary,
  • Treat urinary tract infections promptly. They also are a major cause of sepsis occurrence. 
  • Avoid infections in hospitals. Since many infections that turn septic occur in hospitals and other health care facilities, take steps to avoid them by being a strong self-care advocate. Insist that everyone who comes into your hospital room—including doctors and nurses—wash their hands every time they touch you.

© HealthDay

   
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Sepsis is a sneaky and deadly complication of fighting off infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the immune system goes into overdrive, releasing chemicals into the body to fight the infection. This causes a chain reaction . . .
sepsis, infections, inflammation, immune system, centers for disease control and prevention
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2019-35-15
Tuesday, 15 January 2019 09:35 AM
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