Sepsis is a life-threatening illness. Sepsis is a condition in which your body is fighting a severe infection. Bacterial infections are the most common cause of sepsis. Sepsis can also be caused by fungal, parasitic, or viral infections. The source of the infection can be any of a number of places throughout the body. Meningitis may also be accompanied by sepsis. In children, sepsis may accompany infection of the bone (osteomyelitis). The infection is often confirmed by a positive blood culture, though blood cultures may be negative in individuals who have been receiving antibiotics. In sepsis, blood pressure drops, resulting in shock. Major organs and systems, including the kidneys, liver, lungs, and central nervous system, stop functioning normally.
It is a major cause of death in intensive care units worldwide,. About 750,000 people in the United States get severe sepsis each year, and more than 200,000 people die of it. Symptoms of sepsis are often related to the underlying infectious process. When the infection crosses into sepsis, the resulting symptoms are that of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS): general inflammation, fever, elevated white blood cell count (leukocytosis), and raised heart rate (tachycardia) and breathing rate (tachypnea). Secondary to the above, symptoms also include flu like chill. Neonatal sepsis affects a small percentage of newborns, particularly low-birth-weight and premature infants. Black people are more likely than are white people to get sepsis, and black men face the highest risk.
Sepsis is usually treated in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU). Aggressive treatment boosts your chances of surviving sepsis. People with severe sepsis require close monitoring and treatment in a hospital intensive care unit. IV antibiotics and fluids may be given to try to knock out the infection and to keep blood pressure from dropping too low. Supportive therapy with oxygen, intravenous fluids, and medications that increase blood pressure may be required for a good outcome. Immunizations routinely given to infants today include vaccinations against certain strains of pneumococcus and Haemophilus influenzae type b that can cause sepsis or occult bacteremia, an infection of the blood. Steroids have also been recently shown to be valuable in patients with septic shock.
Sepsis Treatment and Prevention Tips
1. Treatment with antibiotics begins immediately.
2. Surgical drainage of infected fluid collections also useful.
3. Fluid replacement and appropriate support for organ dysfunction.
4. Other medications include low doses of corticosteroids treat sepsis.
5. Insulin to help maintain stable blood sugar levels, and painkillers or sedatives.