What is Sepsis and Septic Shock?

Sepsis is a dangerous condition that can develop as a result of the body’s response to an infection. When the process of fighting the infection turns on the body, this can lead to poor and abnormal functioning of organs. Sepsis can also progress and get worse, becoming septic shock. This refers to a drastic drop in blood pressure that can be fatal or cause very serious organ problems.

Signs and Symptoms

In order to be diagnosed with sepsis, it’s necessary to have either a probable or a confirmed infection. This should be accompanied with signs such as a change in mental status, a respiratory rate that is higher than or equal to 22 breaths per minute, and systolic blood pressure that is less than or equal to one hundred millimeters of mercury.

Septic Shock

Septic shock refers to a severe drop in blood pressure, resulting in highly abnormal issues when it comes to how cells work and energy production. When it progresses, it can result in septic shock which is characterized by serious symptoms such as high levels of lactic acid in the blood. This causes the cells to not be able to use oxygen properly, and the need for medication to be used to maintain a systolic blood pressure that is greater than or equal to 65mm of mercury.

Getting Medical Attention

More often than not, sepsis will occur in patients who are already in hospital, or who have been taken into hospital recently. Patients in intensive care units are more likely to develop infections that can cause sepsis to develop. If you believe that you or a loved one has developed sepsis when in hospital due to negligence on the part of medical professionals, find out more at this site:

What Causes Sepsis?

Any type of infection, including viral, bacterial, and fungal infections can lead to sepsis. There are some infections that are more likely to result in sepsis including infections of the digestive system and bloodstream. Infected catheter sites are at a high risk of sepsis development, along with infections of the bladder, kidneys, and other parts of the urinary system. Burns and wounds are also more prone to sepsis along with infections of the lungs such as pneumonia.

Sepsis Risk Factors

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing sepsis. These include age, with older people and infants being at a higher risk. Having diabetes, or a compromised immune system can also put somebody at a higher risk of developing sepsis from an infection. People with chronic liver or kidney diseases are also at a higher risk, along with patients who have a previous history of using corticosteroids or antibiotics. The use of invasive medical devices like breathing tubes or intravenous catheters can also increase the risk.

Sepsis is a serious condition that involves the body attacking its own cells as a result of fighting an infection. If left unchecked, it can lead to septic shock which can be fatal. Sepsis can develop in hospitals due to negligence or inadequate care.

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