Sepsis

What you should know

Sepsis is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, killing more than 250,000 Americans every year. However, very few people have heard of the deadly condition and still fewer know how to guard against it.

Sepsis is most often treatable with antibiotics, but it’s a race against time. Survival decreases by nearly 8% each hour the appropriate treatment is delayed.1 The more time spent without the right treatment, the less time left to fight for life.

Sepsis is the body’s extreme and life-threatening response to any kind of infection. The body releases chemicals into the blood stream to fight the infection and these chemicals trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.

With rapid diagnosis and treatment, as many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented.2

Sepsis is a medical emergency. Time is of the essence.

Know the Signs3
Signs

Sepsis is preventable and treatable. It is important to know the signs of sepsis.

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What do I do?
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Sepsis is a medical emergency. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately if you have any signs or symptoms of sepsis.

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Make sure you ask your nurse or doctor,
"Could this be sepsis?"

Sepsis is a common complication of people hospitalized for other reasons, including minor outpatient surgeries. If you are continuing to feel worse or not getting better in the days after surgery, ask your doctor about the possibility of sepsis.

How can I prevent it?

Sepsis is not completely preventable but you can reduce the likelihood of developing sepsis by:

Prevention 1
Getting vaccinated
Prevention 2
Cleaning wounds, even minor ones such as scrapes and blisters
Prevention 3
Washing hands regularly
Prevention 4
If you have an infection, remaining alert for the signs of sepsis
Who is more at risk?

Sepsis does not discriminate. It affects young and old, rich and poor, sick and healthy. Anyone can get sepsis at any time as a bad outcome from an infection.

Those at higher risk of developing sepsis include:

Who can get it 1
People with weakened immune systems
Who can get it 2
Babies and very young children
Who can get it 3
Elderly people
Who can get it 4
People with chronic illnesses
Who can get it 5
People suffering from a burn or wound

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