Sepsis can be a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts and attacks the body’s organs and tissues.
Around 250,000 people die are affected by this life-threatening condition each year in the UK, around 46,000 die from this condition which equates to 126 people a day or 5 every hour and that is damn scary.
Sepsis develops when the chemicals in the immune system release into the blood to fight infection and this causes inflammation to spread throughout the body. If the sepsis is severe it can trigger septic shock.
The body’s immune system builds resistance and protects you from lots of illnesses and infections throughout your life.
Anyone can get Sepsis it does not discriminate over age or gender but some people are more vulnerable than others.
Such as those who have a medical condition or having medical treatment or they may have a serious illness or had recent surgery. They may have had an accident and as a result, has wounds or injuries.
Sepsis is very difficult to spot and people with this condition can have similar symptoms to flu, or a chest infection, or a stomach bug. There are no particular signs because symptoms vary between young and old.
Sometimes these symptoms can be confused with meningitis because the symptoms are very similar so this can cause confusion and sometimes late diagnosis by a medical professional.
Symptoms can include;
- A fever-type temperature, or feeling cold symptoms similar to the flu
- Raised heart rate
- Discolouration skin patches
- Breathing difficult
- Not passing water
- Feeling very weak, similar to having very bad flu
Any infection can trigger Sepsis but the most common triggers are a blood infection, kidney infection, abdominal infection, or pneumonia.
Sepsis is not contagious, although if Sepsis was caused by an infection then the infection could very well be infectious.
A doctor takes blood samples and sends them to the pathology lab to carry out some tests to determine if they have Sepsis or something else with very similar symptoms.
If this is caught early enough then intravenous antibiotics can be used to fight the infection and many people make a full recovery although it may take a while to get back to full health.
You can take various steps to reduce the likelihood of contracting this life-threatening disease;
- Good personal hygiene
- Keeping up to date with current vaccinations such as flu jabs
- If you have a wound keep it clean and dry and consult a doctor for possible treatment.
Go to the A&E dept or call 999/112 and tell them if you have had any recent injuries or infections and they will be able to advise on what to do next.