When treatment or medical intervention is missing, sepsis is a leading cause of death, more significant than breast cancer, lung cancer, or heart attack. Research shows that the condition can kill an affected person in as little as 12 hours.
Most people make a full recovery from sepsis. But it can take time. You might continue to have physical and emotional symptoms. These can last for months, or even years, after you had sepsis.
Sepsis occurs unpredictably and can progress rapidly. In severe cases, one or more organ systems fail. In the worst cases, blood pressure drops, the heart weakens, and the patient spirals toward septic shock. Once this happens, multiple organs—lungs, kidneys, liver—may quickly fail, and the patient can die.
Sepsis happens when an infection you already have triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Infections that lead to sepsis most often start in the lung, urinary tract, skin, or gastrointestinal tract. Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.
It's known that many patients die in the months and years after sepsis. But no one has known if this increased risk of death (in the 30 days to 2 years after sepsis) is because of sepsis itself, or because of the pre-existing health conditions the patient had before acquiring the complication.
Long term effects of sepsis
Symptoms of post-sepsis syndrome include: feeling lethargic or excessively tired.
The average sepsis-related length of stay during the baseline data collection period was 3.35 days, and the baseline sepsis-related 30-day readmission rate was 188/407 (46.19%).
If the infection has spread or you have a generalized infection, you may develop other signs and symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, pain, etc. Sometimes however, you may have an infection and not know it, and not have any symptoms.
Left untreated, toxins produced by bacteria can damage the small blood vessels, causing them to leak fluid into the surrounding tissues. This can affect your heart's ability to pump blood to your organs, which lowers your blood pressure and means blood doesn't reach vital organs, such as the brain and liver.
Weakness or aching muscles. Not passing much (or any) urine. Feeling very hot or cold, chills or shivering. Feeling confused, disoriented, or slurring your speech.
The early symptoms of sepsis include: a high temperature (fever) or, due to changes in circulation, a low body temperature instead. chills and shivering.
Septic shock: Septic shock is the last stage of sepsis and is defined by extremely low blood pressure, despite lots of IV (intravenous) fluids.
An estimated 27% of people with sepsis in hospitals and 42% of people in intensive care units will die.
Healthcare professionals should treat sepsis with antibiotics as soon as possible. Antibiotics are critical tools for treating life-threatening infections, like those that can lead to sepsis. However, as antibiotic resistance grows, infections are becoming more difficult to treat.
While any type of infection — bacterial, viral or fungal — can lead to sepsis, infections that more commonly result in sepsis include infections of: Lungs, such as pneumonia. Kidney, bladder and other parts of the urinary system. Digestive system.
There is no definitive diagnostic test for sepsis. Along with clinical data, laboratory testing can provide clues that indicate the presence of or risk of developing sepsis. Serum lactate measurement may help to determine the severity of sepsis and is used to monitor therapeutic response.
Without rapid antibiotic treatment, it is possible for the person to go into septic shock and suffer from multiple organ failure, resulting in lifelong disability or even death. Clinicians are very concerned that patients with sepsis through infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria may not respond to treatment.
The condition can arise suddenly and progress quickly, and it's often hard to recognize. Sepsis was once commonly known as “blood poisoning.” It was almost always deadly. Today, even with early treatment, sepsis kills about 1 in 5 affected people.
Severe breathlessness or sleepiness. It feels like you're going to die or pass out. Skin mottled or discoloured. An extremely high or a very low temperature; repeated vomiting; seizures; and a rash which doesn't fade when you press a glass against it are also possible 'red flags'.
Once a person is diagnosed with sepsis, she will be treated with antibiotics, IV fluids and support for failing organs, such as dialysis or mechanical ventilation. This usually means a person needs to be hospitalized, often in an ICU.
"Sepsis is a common and deadly problem among patients who come to the emergency department," said Dr. Peltan. "While widely-accepted guidelines assume all sepsis patients will be admitted to the hospital, we found that about 16 percent are in fact discharged from the ED for outpatient management.