After an illness or injury, people often suffer from complications that can vary widely in degrees of severity. Sepsis is a potentially fatal complication of a bacterial, viral or fungal infection.
Generally speaking, this serious illness occurs when the chemicals released into the blood to fight an infection generate a powerful inflammatory response. Subsequently, the inflammation can result in many changes within the body, with the potential to damage vital organs.
There are three stages of sepsis:
- Severe sepsis
- Septic shock
Sepsis alone is serious, but when caught early it can be treated in a variety of ways. Symptoms include: high heart rate, high respiratory rate, and a body temperature in excess of 101 F.
Severe sepsis and septic shock are much more serious, as the symptoms of these stages can cause additional bodily harm.
While not always the case, sepsis is most common among people who are already in the hospital, thus making them more vulnerable for infection. Some of the many illnesses that can lead to sepsis include:
- Kidney infection
- Abdominal infection
- Bloodstream infection
Antibiotics, often administered intravenously, is a primary form of treatment for sepsis. The sooner you receive antibiotics, the greater chance there is of beating the infection.
While not always necessary, surgery may be required to eliminate the infection site.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with sepsis, don’t overlook just how dangerous it can be. This is much more serious than a basic infection that your body will fight off over time.
If not treated in a timely manner, there’s a chance that sepsis could result in a more serious illness or even death.