What is sepsis and what are the symptoms? Everything you need to know about the deadly infection

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Komun.idWhat is sepsis and what are the symptoms? Everything you need to know about the deadly infection. Sepsis is one of the country’s biggest killers, causing 44,000 deaths in the UK each year.

It kills more people each year in the UK than many forms of cancer, but sepsis remains a secret killer.

The life-threatening condition occurs when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection.

It must be treated quickly with antibiotics.

Read: Four early signs of the deadly condition you need to know Sepsis symptoms

A recent study from the York Health Economics Consortium suggests an 260,000 people in the UK develop sepsis every year.

And it kills an astonishing 44,000 people.

World Sepsis Day on September 13 aims to raise awareness of the condition.

Here is everything you need to know and the symptoms you have to look out for.

Read: Sepsis Deadly Infections, the Dangers of Sepsis, What Is It?

What is sepsis?

According to the UK Sepsis Trust , sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death especially if not recognized early and treated promptly.

Sepsis can be caused by a huge variety of different bugs, most cases being caused by common bacteria which we all come into contact with every day without them making us ill. Sometimes, though, the body responds abnormally to these infections, and causes sepsis.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Early symptoms include fast breathing or a fast heartbeat, high or low temperature, chills and shivering. Sufferers may or may not have a fever.

Severe symptoms can develop soon afterwards and include blood pressure falling low, dizziness, disorientation, slurred speech, mottled skin, nausea and vomiting.

In children, there are a number of signs that they may have sepsis:

  • Very fast breathing
  • Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
  • Looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Is lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch.

Children aged under five might have sepsis if:

  • They’re not feeding
  • They’re vomiting repeatedly
  • They haven’t urinated or had a wet nappy for 12 hours.

How is sepsis treated?

The first hours of treatment are the most important.

Patients must receive appropriate antibiotic therapy as soon as possible. Blood cultures and cultures from the site of infection under suspicion should be taken to detect the cause.

Patients with severe signs, such as hypotension and elevated lactate levels, should also receive fluids. Depending on the severity of organ dysfunction, they may require treatment in an intensive care unit.

If the sepsis has been caused by an infected foreign object in the body, then that must also be removed surgically.

Source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk