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Severe sepsis can result in septic shock and death. One reason for this is that bacterial infection that causes systemic reactions in the body also causes our immune system to release cytokines in order to fight the infection. In a typical infection, cytokines dilate blood vessels near the injection site to allow more blood to flow through, carrying the cells and mediators needed to fight the bacteria. In sepsis, however, the response affects the entire body, with inflammation occurring almost everywhere.

As a result of the systemic response, all blood vessels dilate, lowering blood pressure. The body's response to sepsis, rather than aiding in the fight against infection, actually slows blood flow, making our immune system less effective. The bacteria can cause organ damage, and a lack of blood flow can cause organ failure. Organ failure and low blood pressure are the two leading causes of death in severe sepsis and septic shock, with up to 40-50 percent of patients dying.

What Is Sepsis and How Does It Affect You?

When your body responds to an infection in an unusually severe way, it's called sepsis. Septicemia is another name for it.

Your immune system, which protects you from germs, releases a lot of chemicals into your blood during sepsis. This causes widespread inflammation, which can damage organs. Clots cut off blood flow to your limbs and internal organs, preventing them from receiving the nutrients and oxygen they require.

Sepsis causes a dangerous drop in blood pressure in severe cases. This is referred to as "septic shock" by doctors. Organ failure, such as in the lungs, kidneys, and liver, can occur quickly. This has the potential to be fatal.

Causes of Sepsis and Risk Factors

Sepsis is almost always caused by bacterial infections. However, it can also be caused by other infections. It can start anywhere in your body where bacteria, parasites, fungi, or viruses enter, even if it's as small as a hangnail.

Sepsis can be caused by a bone infection called osteomyelitis. Bacteria can enter the body through IV lines, surgical wounds, urinary catheters, and bedsores in hospitalized patients.

People who suffer from sepsis are more likely to:

  1. Have deteriorated immune systems as a result of illnesses such as HIV or cancer, or as a result of medications such as steroids or antibiotics.
  2. keep transplanted organs from being rejected
  3. Are you expecting a child?
  4. Are you a young person?
  5. Are they elderly, particularly if they have other health issues?
  6. Have you recently been in the hospital or had major surgery?
  7. Catheters or breathing tubes can be used.
  8. Do you have diabetes?
  9. Have you been diagnosed with appendicitis, pneumonia, meningitis, cirrhosis, or a urinary tract infection?

The Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis

Sepsis can manifest itself in a variety of ways due to the fact that it can start in different parts of your body. Rapid breathing and confusion may be the first signs. Other typical signs and symptoms include:

  1. Chills and fever
  2. Body temperature is extremely low.
  3. Peeing less frequently than usual
  4. a rapid heartbeat
  5. Vomiting and nausea
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Weakness or exhaustion
  8. Skin blotchy or discolored

Diagnosis of Sepsis

Your doctor will examine you and run tests to check for things like:

  1. Bacteria can be found in your blood or other bodily fluids.
  2. On an X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound, look for signs of infection.
  3. The number of white blood cells in your body is either too high or too low.
  4. A low platelet count in your blood
  5. Blood pressure that is too low
  6. You have an excessive amount of acid in your blood (acidosis)
  7. Oxygen deficiency in the blood
  8. Have issues with how your blood clots
  9. Electrolyte levels are unbalanced.
  10. Problems with the kidneys or the liver
  11. Sweating or clammy skin are both signs of dehydration.

Treatment for Sepsis

Your doctor will most likely keep you in the intensive care unit of the hospital (ICU). Your medical team will work to eliminate the infection, keep your organs functioning, and keep your blood pressure under control. Extra oxygen and IV fluids can help with this.

Antibiotics with a broad spectrum of action may be able to combat bacterial infections early on. Once your doctor has figured out what's causing your sepsis, he or she can prescribe medication that targets that particular germ. Doctors frequently prescribe vasopressors (drugs that narrow your blood vessels) to lower blood pressure.

You might also be prescribed corticosteroids to treat inflammation or insulin to keep your blood sugar under control.

If your condition is severe, you may require additional treatment, such as a breathing machine or kidney dialysis. Alternatively, surgery may be required to drain or clean out an infection.

Preventing Sepsis

  1. The best way to avoid sepsis is to avoid infection. Follow these steps:
  2. Hands should be washed frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Vaccines for the flu and chickenpox should be taken on a regular basis.
  4. Maintain control over any chronic health issues.
  5. If your skin has been broken by an injury, clean it as soon as possible. As it heals, keep it clean and covered, and keep an eye out for signs of infection.
  6. Infections should be treated. If they don't improve or seem to be getting worse, seek medical attention right away.

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