Sepsis, also commonly known as Septicemia, is a highly complicating and life-threatening disease which generally occurs when the bacteria or infections enters the main bloodstream of your body. If not attended to the issue properly, sepsis can cause multiple organ failure and death.
Not necessarily bacteria, but any type of infectious pathogen can cause the disease of sepsis. It is regarded to be the primary cause of death due to infection. Sepsis causes death more than the ones caused by prostate cancer, breast cancer, or HIV AIDS.
The infection from lungs, skin, pneumonia, or urinary tracts can trigger the emergence of sepsis in your body. It largely affects elderly people and the ones who have undergone surgery.
“According to a report, nearly 1.5 million people (in the US) are prone to sepsis every year and an approximate of 250000 people die from it.”
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is an infection that occurs in the blood and possesses a severe infection to the other body parts. Usually, the bloodstream is free from infectious pathogens, but when the bacteria enters the blood, it is called ‘bacteremia’. When the bacteria multiply, our body tends to release various chemicals into the bloodstream. Due to the inflammatory reaction caused by these chemicals, there occurs the disorder of multiple organ failure. The life-threatening response of the body to the infection is called as sepsis or Septicemia. If you initiate treatment through antibiotics at the right time, you can prevent the occurrence of septic shock.
Are you at risk of Sepsis?
Infections can attack anyone, irrespective of age or gender, but if left unnoticed, it can lead to sepsis. But, generally, sepsis attacks a specific target group. It includes:
- People who have a weak immune system, such as suffering from cancer of HIV/AIDS
- People who suffer from chronic illness such as lung disease, diabetes, or kidney disease
- People belonging to age group of 1-65 years
- People who have undergone surgery or transplant
- People who have experienced severe burns
Prime Symptoms of Sepsis
- Fever, cold, shivering, cough
- Short of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Having a sweaty skin
- Mood swings (change in mental health) such as feeling confused, loss of interest, sleeping all the time
On the other hand, the symptoms of septic shock comprise of:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Being sleepy or losing the alertness
- Fainting or dizziness
- Less passage of urine
- Mental changes
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
- Extreme joint/muscle pain and feeling discomfort
- Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea
- Cold and clammy skin
- Unusually warm extremities
- Low blood pressure
In case you feel any of the above-symptoms, ensure to consult a doctor immediately and let him/her know whether you had a recent infection or surgery. It will help the doctors to examine the possibility and treatment for the sepsis quickly.
What could be the treatment for sepsis?
The first and foremost treatment includes providing necessary antibiotics and fluids to protect the organs for vital functioning. The antibiotics will fight against bacterial infections. The doctors will perform a test to identify the kind of infection, so as to provide the antibiotics accordingly.
If a specific source is causing the infection, the doctors will ensure to remove the source from your body, such as tissue, etc. At times, the life support measure is given, which includes, providing oxygen through machine-supported breathing and injecting intravenous fluids into the main bloodstream.
The recovery from sepsis, under the right treatment, can take some time. But one needs to take important rest so as to prevent any further complications.
Get a check right away and ensure that your body isn’t prone to any infections.