Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and potentially life-threatening response to an infection. Help keep you and your loved ones safe by learning to See it. Stop it. Survive it. Less than half of American adults have heard of sepsis according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can be caused by complications from a minor scrape to a urinary tract infection to a major surgery. Sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death.
Every two minutes, an American dies from sepsis according to SuspectSepsis.org. The first step in preventing death from sepsis is to learn to identify sepsis through its symptoms:
- Shivering, fever, feeling very cold
- Extreme pain or feeling worse than ever
- Pale or discolored skin
- Sleepiness, difficulty waking up, confusion
- “I feel like I might die.”
- Shortness of breath.
Almost 3,500 Hoosiers die each year from sepsis, according to the 2015 Indiana Hospital Association Inpatient Discharge Study. If you have an infection, along with shivering, extreme pain, shortness of breath, increased heart rate or a general terrible feeling, seek medical attention immediately.
Sepsis can occur from even a minor infection. Stay healthy:
- Be vaccinated – protect yourself against flu, pneumonia and other infections.
- Be thorough – properly clean and treat scrapes and wounds and practice good hygiene.
- Be vigilant – if you have an infection, look for the signs of sepsis.
Knowing the signs and seeking immediate medical attention can help you or your loved ones survive sepsis.