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It's about TIME - Know the Symptoms of Sepsis

It's about TIME - Know the Symptoms of Sepsis

it's about time graphic

In a healthy body, infections from germs like bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites are prevented or fought by the immune system. Sometimes, for reasons that researchers still have not figured out, the immune system stops fighting the germs and instead turns on itself, which can lead to sepsis.

Who’s at Risk?

Anyone can develop sepsis, but the very young, the elderly, the chronically ill, or those with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of sepsis.

What are the Symptoms?

If you or a loved one has an infection, it’s important to be on the lookout for a combination of sepsis symptoms, and see a doctor immediately if you have them. The Sepsis Alliance has adopted this mantra to help remember the symptoms:

When it comes to sepsis, remember it’s about TIME.

T – Temperature: Any change in your body’s temperature—both high or low—can be a sign of sepsis.

I – Infection: You may have signs and symptoms around the affected area (such as chest pain for pneumonia), or signs like fever, fatigue, and pain for a generalized infection. Keep in mind that it is possible to have an infection and not know it.

M – Mental decline: Watch for a sudden change in mental status, such as becoming confused or severely sleepy.

E – Extremely ill: Sepsis survivors often say that it was the worst, sickest, or most in pain they’d ever felt.

How Do You Treat It?

The most common treatments for sepsis are antibiotics and IV fluids.

Typically, a doctor will prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics, which are effective against many of the most common bacteria, given intravenously to get into the patient’s system quickly. In addition, IV fluids help to keep the blood pressure at a healthy level, keeping organs functioning properly and to reduce damage from sepsis.

The best treatment, of course, is prevention. To reduce your risk of infection, be sure to stay up-to-date on vaccinations, keep wounds clean, and wash your hands to keep yourself healthy.

To learn more about sepsis, click here.