Understanding Sepsis

Understanding Sepsis – Risks, Signs, and Treatments

Many of us will have an infection of some sort during our lives, and our body’s immune system will help to defend against it. Sometimes this requires antibiotics or antivirals. But when an infection can’t be stopped, sepsis can occur.

Sepsis is a life-threatening disease where the body actually injures its own tissues and organs. No one knows exactly why it occurs…but it can cause bacteria and toxins to alter a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature, which can prevent the body’s organs from working properly.

Those at a higher risk for sepsis:

  • Adults 65+
  • People with chronic medical conditions (i.e. diabetes, lung disease, and cancer)
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Children younger than one

Signs of Sepsis

Sepsis is often linked to infections in the lungs, abdomen, kidneys, or skin. If you have an infection, be mindful of any changes in your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, or body temperature.

Symptoms can include:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Shortness of breath
  • High heart rate
  • Fever
  • Shivering or feeling very cold
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Clammy or sweaty skin

Treatment of Sepsis

  • Antibiotics
  • Treating the source of the infection
  • Maintaining blood flow and oxygen to the organs