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Sepsis is More Common and More Dangerous Than Many Realize

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Sepsis is More Common and More Dangerous Than Many Realize

Sepsis is More Common and More Dangerous Than Many Realize
September 24
17:25 2018

Some of you many never had heard of sepsis or if you have, you have no idea what it really is.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. This inflammation can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.”

If the sepsis is due to a bacteria infection, it is sometimes referred to as blood poisoning, although that is not a technical term. It’s also known as septicemia or bacteremia, as well as sepsis.

You need to know that anyone can get sepsis, but it’s more common among older adults and others with weakened immune systems.

Got your attention yet?

In a report by Kaiser Health News, it seems that no one keeps track of sepsis or how many deaths are caused by sepsis, but it’s estimated to be much higher than many think.

Bacterial sepsis can occur as a result of an abdominal infection, insect bite that gets infected, tooth extraction, kidney or urinary tract infection, pneumonia, skin infection, any open wound, or any way that a bacterium can enter the body.

Symptoms of bacterial sepsis include chills, fever over 100º, weakness, rapid breathing, increased heart rate or palpitations and paleness of skin.

If not treated soon enough, symptoms can include confusion, skin discoloration (often looking like purple bruises that continue to enlarge) lack of urine production, shock and organ failure.

There are three stages of sepsis:

  • Sepsis – usually diagnosed if a person exhibits any 2 of the following symptoms – heart rate 90 beats a minute or higher, respiration of 20 breaths a minute or more, and temperature below 96.8º or higher than 101º.
  • Severe Sepsis – exhibit one or more of the following symptoms – significant decrease in urine output, sudden change in mental status or confusion, difficulty breathing, noticeable abnormal heart function, abdominal pain and a decrease in platelet count.
  • Septic Shock – must have the symptoms of severe sepsis along with very low blood pressure that doesn’t respond to fluid intake or IV.

It’s recommended that you see a doctor if you have the signs of sepsis. If show signs of severe sepsis, you are on the verge of danger and should probably head to your local emergency room or urgent care center.

In older people, especially those in nursing homes or who are bedridden or immobile, sepsis can arise from an unlikely source. Ever hear of bedsores? Check this out:

“Shana Dorsey first caught sight of the purplish wound on her father’s lower back as he lay in a suburban Chicago hospital bed a few weeks before his death.”

“Her father, Willie Jackson, had grimaced as nursing aides turned his frail body, exposing the deep skin ulcer, also known as a pressure sore or bedsore.”

“‘That was truly the first time I saw how much pain my dad was in,’ Dorsey said.”

“The staff at Lakeview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, she said, never told her the seriousness of the pressure sore, which led to sepsis, a severe infection that can quickly turn deadly if not cared for properly. While a resident of Lakeview and another area nursing home, Jackson required several trips to hospitals for intravenous antibiotics and other sepsis care, including painful surgeries to cut away dead skin around the wound, court records show.”

How common is this?

“Year after year, nursing homes around the country have failed to prevent bedsores and other infections that can lead to sepsis, an investigation by Kaiser Health News and the Chicago Tribune has found.”

Don’t take chances, especially if you or a loved one are fairly sedentary. What may seem like a deep bruise may be worse than you realize.

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1 Comment

  1. timkaelin
    timkaelin September 24, 19:08

    If you put your neosporin on your cuts, you won’t have this problem – unless of course you are in the hospital and catch some of those super germs…

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