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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in sepsis

Posted by on in Senior Health

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection that has spread by way of the bloodstream. It is caused by an immune reaction triggered by an infection, most commonly from a bacteria. Sepsis can occur from any kind of infection, even a minor one. Because sepsis is caused by an infection, the symptoms can include regular infection signs as well as:

  • A fever above 101.3 F
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Increased heart rate (higher than 90 beats a minute)
  • Sleepiness or confusion
  • Shortness of breath (higher than 20 breaths a minute)

Anyone can develop sepsis, but it's most common and most dangerous in older adults or those with weakened immune systems. Sepsis can progress to septic shock and death if it is not treated quickly. The earlier sepsis is diagnosed and treated, the more likely you are to survive. If you are continuing to feel worse or not getting better after you have had surgery, it is important that you tell your doctor that you are concerned about sepsis. People hospitalized for other reasons often develop sepsis as a secondary complication. Doctors usually treat people with sepsis in the hospital with antibiotics as soon as possible. Many people who have suffered with sepsis completely recover and return to life as usual. Unfortunately, some people may experience permanent damage to their organs. It is important to see your doctor if you think you may have developed sepsis. In an effort to prevent sepsis, you should clean any cuts, scrapes and wounds well, and practice good hygiene such as washing your hands and bathing regularly. If you have developed an infection, watch for the signs of sepsis.

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