Sepsis, or septicemia, is an unusually severe and immediate response of our body to an infection. It is a life-threatening medical emergency and occurs when the already existing infection triggers a series of responses by the immune system of our body. If not attended to immediately, sepsis can damage tissues, organs or can be fatal.
Immune system usually releases fighter cells when our body is invaded with foreign bodies like allergens or disease causing germs. But sometimes, one such infection goes crazy and these fighter cells, instead of fighting infection, start causing inflammation throughout the body. This can lead to septic shock and needs immediate medical attention.
Sepsis does not spread to other people. The infection in the body of the person can spread to other parts of his own body. The infection (bacterial or viral) in the person can spread to another person by various means but not sepsis.
Symptoms of Sepsis:
Sepsis happens in three stages – Sepsis, Severe sepsis and septic shock.
Presence of at least two out of the following symptoms confirms the diagnosis of sepsis.
One or more of the following signs with an organ failure confirms the presence of severe sepsis.
Symptoms of severe sepsis along with very low blood pressure indicates septic shock.
Treatment of Sepsis:
The patient is usually managed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The treatment regime aims to:
The conditions may be managed with prescription medicines in the hospital ICU. Life-supporting equipments like breathing machinery or kidney dialysis may be used as required. Surgery may be done to clean or drain out the infection.
Complications of sepsis:
If sepsis is not managed on time, but life is saved, there may be some complications.
Prevention of sepsis:
Sepsis is best avoided rather than managed. Some ways to prevent sepsis include:
Sepsis is a dangerous condition that can be fatal. It is better to prevent than to face the consequences.