Sepsis is when the body's response to a serious infection gets out of control. Hospital Acquired Infections are one of the major sources of the initial infection. Early detection is vital if the infection is to be tackled effectively.
The role of friends and family is important in spotting the initial symptoms of Sepsis. These can include fevers, shaking chills, flushed skin, racing heartbeat, and confusion, among other things. As the illness progresses, the blood pressure drops dangerously low, and organs can stop functioning correctly. This can take hours or days, depending on the individual. If sepsis is at all suspected, the patient should be brought to medical attention as quickly as possible. Remember, sepsis is a medical emergency and rapid treatment can make all the difference in whether or not a person recovers.
Another key finding in the CDC study was that approximately 72% of these patients had had contact with the healthcare system in the days prior to their illness. Many patients had chronic health problems, and so would be in medical offices or hospitals more often than healthy people. But, the report suggests that contact with the medical system itself could pose a risk for infections (and therefore sepsis), for example from hospital-acquired infections of intravenous lines and urinary catheters. Another important finding was that there may have been opportunities for providers to intervene earlier in the infections. With sepsis, early recognition and treatment is essential; once septic shock sets in, the risk of dying from sepsis increases greatly. Prevention efforts such as appropriate vaccination and minimizing hospital-acquired infection are important, and early and urgent recognition of sepsis is critical.