World Sepsis Day: What is this condition and its symptoms?

by The Technical Blogs

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Sepsis is a severe and life-threatening medical condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection spirals out of control, leading to widespread inflammation and potential organ failure.

It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention and treatment. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection.

If it is not recognised early and managed immediately, it can lead to septic shock, multiple organ failure and death. It is most frequently a serious complication of infection, particularly in low and middle-income countries where it is a major cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Sepsis is a severe and life-threatening medical condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection spirals out of control. (Photo: Getty)

Nearly 50 million people worldwide each year are affected by an illness called sepsis. Around 11 million deaths are caused by this condition.

The condition is primarily triggered by bacterial infections, although viral and fungal infections, including COVID-19 and influenza, can also lead to sepsis.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Recognising the symptoms of sepsis is crucial for early intervention. These symptoms can vary from person to person but often include a high or low body temperature, confusion or disorientation, slurred speech, and a rapid heartbeat.

Other signs may include severe breathlessness, cold, clammy, pale or mottled skin, and fast breathing. In some cases, individuals may experience extreme pain or discomfort, chills, lightheadedness due to low blood pressure, and skin rash.

Symptoms can vary from person to person but often include a high or low body temperature, confusion or disorientation, slurred speech, and a rapid heartbeat. (Photo: Getty)

It’s important to note that anyone can develop sepsis, but certain groups are at higher risk.

These include adults aged 65 or older, people with weakened immune systems, those with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease, and individuals who have recently been severely ill or hospitalised.

Treatment for sepsis

According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, sepsis can be treated by antibiotics and maintain the blood flow to the organs. Sometimes, surgery is required to remove tissue damaged by the infection.

Sometimes, vasopressors are used to help narrow blood vessels and increase blood pressure.

Edited By:

Daphne Clarance

Published On:

Sep 13, 2023

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