Sepsis is also known as septicemia. It is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body injures its own tissues and organs when exposed to an infection. It is always best to be on your guard and to know what the symptoms of sepsis are.
Symptoms Of Sepsis
The general symptoms of sepsis are:
- Body temperature will be above 101F
- Heart beats 90 times per minute
- More than 20 breaths per minute
Symptoms of Severe Sepsis:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Pain in the abdomen
- Platelet count decreases
- Mental status of an adult undergoes abrupt change
- Decrease in Urination
- Pumping of the heart becomes abnormal
There is also a condition known as septic shock which is a combination of severe sepsis and also a very low blood pressure.
Although there might be many reasons as to why sepsis might occur, the following play an important role, being the major causes of all
- Infection in the blood stream, also known as bacteremia
- Infection in the abdomen
- Kidney infection
- Frequent occurrence of pneumonia
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Why Does Sepsis Occur
The above conditions are caused mainly due to the factors given below
1. Older Population
We all know that our immune system keeps degrading as our age decreases. This makes older people more prone to sepsis than the younger generation. Especially people above the age of 65.
Sometimes, our bodies are composed of certain bacteria that restrict antibiotics working on our body. As a result, there is no method by which we can stop the disease from spreading. This happens to be the most common root cause.
3. Weak Immunity
Finally, it is often observed that people who are affected by HIV or people who have had cancer treatments or have had transplantation, have reported weaker immune systems. Like we have mentioned above, a weaker immune system would mean higher probability of the infection occurring.
Apart from the symptoms of sepsis, there are a lot of risk factors involved. Sepsis is more common and more dangerous if you:
- Have a weak immune system
- Use devices such as intravenous catheters or breathing tubes
- Are ill
- Are very young or old
- Have severe injuries such as burns
Note: There’s a high chance that you might get in contact with sepsis if you’re too young. This is because, your immune system is not yet fully developed at such young ages. This makes it easier for you to get in contact with this condition.
There are a lot of complications involved with Sepsis, especially the ones that concern blood flow. For example, sepsis could destroy the flow of blood to your brain, heart and kidneys. It also causes blood clots in organs such as our arms, legs, fingers and toes. This could eventually result in the failure of every part of the body, one by one, ultimately leading to death.
I have personally experienced the silent wrath of sepsis in my life in the form of my grandfather’s death two years ago. Just when we all thought his health was perfect; he suddenly had an organ failure, after which he passed away. I could thus strongly say that sepsis is indeed is a silent killer, if not identified at the right time or not taken proper care of.
It is always better to consult a doctor, if in case you doubt that you might be experiencing any symptoms of sepsis.
Reasons why a blood test is performed:
- Problems with clotting of blood
- Decrease in the levels of oxygen
- Abnormal functioning of liver and kidney
- Levels of acidity in your blood.
Your doctor may also request you to go through the following tests:
- Urine test: To check for the bacteria in your urine
- Wound secretion test: To check for any open wound infection.
- Mucus secretion test: for the identification of the bacteria responsible for an infection
Finally, the doctor might even perform thee tests mentioned below, if they are finding it difficult to diagnose the situation:
- X-rays to view the lungs
- CT scans (Computed Tomography) to view all the possible infections in your appendix, pancreas or the bowel area
- Ultrasounds for detection of infection in your gallbladder or ovaries
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to identify soft tissue infections
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The following medicines have proven to be successful in treating sepsis from the past many years:
- Blood sugar stabilizing insulin
- Inflammation reducing corticosteroids
- Blood pressure increasing vasoactive medications
- Infection fighting antibiotics via IV
Take a look at this message from a mother who lost her little one because of Sepsis: