What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is the body's overwhelming and sometimes fatal response to infection, which can result in organ failure, tissue damage, and fatalities. To fight infection, immune chemicals secreted in the blood cause massive inflammation, which leads to blood clots and leaky vessels. This decreases blood flow, causing organ damage by depriving them of oxygen and nutrients.
One or more organs may fail in severe cases. In the worst-case scenario, the patient's blood pressure decreases, the heart weakens, and the patient enters septic shock, in which many organs fail quickly and it is fatal to the patient.
Stages of sepsis
Sepsis is divided into three stages:
Sepsis is a condition in which an infection enters the bloodstream and produces inflammation throughout the body.
Severe Sepsis The infection and inflammation have progressed to the point that they are interfering with organ function.
Septic Shock Septic shock is a serious sepsis consequence that results in a considerable decrease in blood pressure. This can result in a variety of catastrophic consequences, including organ damage.
Symptoms of sepsis
If you have any signs or symptoms of sepsis, you should seek medical help right away. The sooner the treatment starts, the better are the chances of recovery.
Symptoms of sepsis can include:
- Chills and fever
- Perplexity or disorientation
- Breathing problems
- Low blood pressure or a fast heart rate (hypotension)
- Extreme agony
- Skin that is sweaty
Symptoms of severe sepsis include
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin discolouration, especially on lips, fingers, and toes
- Chills as a result of a decrease in body temperature
- Urination is less frequent
- Mental Ability Changes
- Extreme affliction (asthenia)
- Platelet count is low (thrombocytopenia)
- Heart functions that are abnormal
When To See a Doctor?
Sepsis is most commonly found in patients who are hospitalised. People in an intensive care unit are more likely to develop infections that can lead to sepsis. Any infection, on the other hand, might cause sepsis. Consult your doctor if you have an infection or a wound that isn't healing.
Get the best treatment for Sepsis from our General Physicians at Medicover Hospitals
Causes and risks
While any bacterial, viral, or fungal infection can cause sepsis, illnesses that are more typically associated with sepsis include infections of the respiratory tract.
- Abdominal infections
- Kidney infections
- Blood poisoning
- Wounds or burns
A lot of factors and conditions increase the risk for sepsis, including:
- Older age
- Weak immune system
- Chronic kidney or liver illness
- Longer hospital stays or admission to an intensive care unit
- Intravenous catheters and breathing tubes for long time
- Use of antibiotics or corticosteroids in the past
The signs and symptoms of sepsis can range from mild to severe. In extreme circumstances, complications are more likely to occur. These issues might include the following:
- Failure of the kidneys
- Damage to the lungs, brain, or heart
- Infection risk increases over time
- Amputation of fingers and toes due to dead tissue (gangrene).
Vaccinate yourself against the flu, pneumonia, and other illnesses.
Cleaning scrapes and wounds and practising proper hygiene by washing hands and bathing on a regular basis can help prevent infections that can progress to sepsis.
If you have an infection and witness any of the following signs, seek immediate treatment to prevent sepsis.
- Fever and chills
- Excessive thirst
- Breathing difficulties, a fast heart rate, low blood pressure, and a poor urine output are all signs of organ dysfunction
- Extreme weakness, dizziness, lethargy or confusion
- Loss of appetite
- Skin or wounds that become red, hot, tender and swollen or draining pus
How is Sepsis diagnosed
If one has sepsis symptoms, the doctor will conduct tests to diagnose the illness and establish its severity. A blood test is one of the first tests to be performed. The blood test examines the following conditions
- Problems with infection clotting
- Anomaly of the liver or kidneys
- Low oxygen levels
- Electrolyte imbalance, if any
- Blood acidity levels to check how acidic a person's blood is
The doctor may prescribe additional tests based on the symptoms and the findings of the blood test, such as
- A urine test is required (to check for bacteria in the urine)
- A test of wound secretion (to check an open wound for an infection)
- A test for mucus secretion (to identify germs responsible for an infection)
If the above tests fail to identify the source of illness, the doctor may request an interior examination of the body using one of the following methods:
- X-rays of the chest to examine the lungs
- CT scans are used to look for infections in the appendix, pancreas, and colon
- Ultrasounds to see if the gallbladder or ovaries are infected
- Soft tissue infections can be detected using MRI scanning
The chances of a successful recovery increase with early and extensive treatment. In the critical care unit, patients with sepsis must be closely monitored and treated. Lifesaving procedures may be necessary to stabilise respiratory and heart function.
Sepsis and septic shock are treated with a variety of drugs. They include the following:
Antibiotic treatment should begin as soon as feasible. Antibiotics with a broad spectrum of action, which are effective against a wide range of germs, are typically used initially. Following the findings of blood testing, your doctor may switch to an antibiotic that is specifically designed to combat the bacteria that is causing the infection.
Intravenous fluids should be started as soon as feasible.
Individuals may be given vasopressor medication if their blood pressure stays too low after getting intravenous fluids. This medicine helps to raise blood pressure by constricting blood vessels.
Low doses of corticosteroids, insulin to assist maintain stable blood sugar levels, medicines that modulate immune system responses, and painkillers or sedatives are also possible therapies.
People with sepsis are frequently given supportive treatment, which includes oxygen. Individuals may require the assistance of a machine to help breathe, depending on their health. One may require dialysis if the kidneys have been damaged.
Surgery may be required to remove infection sources such as pus collections (abscesses), diseased tissues, or dead tissues (gangrene).
Lifestyle Changes and Self Care
- Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein
- Only take over-the-counter and prescription medications as directed by the doctor
- If the doctor has recommended an antibiotic, antiviral, or antifungal medication, follow the directions carefully
- Even if you begin to feel better, do not stop taking the drug
- Rest for a while and then gradually resume the usual routines. Talk with the doctor about which activities are appropriate for you
- Sitting for long periods of time without moving is not recommended
- Make sure you're up to date on your vaccines. Every year, get a flu vaccination
- Hands should be washed often with soap and water. If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitiser
- Maintain a healthy level of hygiene. Keep the cuts clean and covered until its completely healed
Do’s and Don’ts
Sepsis can be caused by bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections. Sepsis prevention is only possible by preventing infections with good and consistent hygiene and avoiding people with infections. Other infections can be prevented through the use of vaccinations. On the other side, following the dos and don'ts can help you avoid the negative effects of sepsis. The following are some guidelines:
|Take vaccines to prevent infections||Ignore the vaccinations for flu and influenza|
|Keep yourself clean and hygienic||Contact people with infections|
|Take the antibiotics prescribed by the doctor||Discontinue medicines without completing the course|
|Take care of the open wounds and cuts||Treat serious infections and wounds by yourself|
|Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits||Drink alcohol|
Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover, we have the best team of General physicians and Surgeons who work together to provide sepsis treatment with utmost precision. Our highly skilled team utilises the latest medical equipment, diagnostic procedures and technologies to treat various infections and conditions. For treating Sepsis, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to provide comprehensive care to the patients and attend to all their medical needs for faster and sustained recovery.