Sepsis Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Many people think sepsis is the same with blood infections or septicemia. This assumption is less appropriate because of sepsis will not only attack blood.Sepsis attacks whole part of the body including the organs. While septicemia is a condition that arises due to the ingress of bacteria into the bloodstream and can trigger sepsis.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition. This complication occurs when the immune system work excessively and trigger a negative reaction throughout the body. For example, the inflammatory and blood clotting. This condition can reduce and even stop the blood supply to vital organs such as heart and kidneys which cause permanent damage.
Groups of people who have a higher risk of experiencing sepsis are children,elderly and people with a weakened immune system. Various kinds of infections are not treated properly can lead to sepsis. For example, lung infection or pneumonia, appendicitis, urinary tract infections and meningitis. The symptoms that indicate sepsis include fever, chills, heart rate and rapid breathing.
Sepsis also can get worse and develop into septic shock. If patients with sepsis experience septic shock, symptoms include:
- Blood pressure decreases suddenly
- Skin is pale and cold
- Nausea and vomiting
Every case of sepsis requires medical treatment as soon as possible and should be immediately taken to the hospital. If it is left untreated, sepsis can progress rapidly and even lead to death.It is difficult to detect sepsis because symptoms can be caused by other conditions. To confirm the diagnosis and find out the infections that lead to sepsis, a series of examinations will need to be done. Some of these are blood and urine tests, stool sample, a sputum test if the patient is experiencing cough with phlegm, chest x-ray and CT scan.
Early detection has an important role in the healing of sepsis. People who are diagnosed with sepsis before the spread of the vital organs can be recovered fully by undergoing antibiotic treatment at home.
If sepsis is not treated immediately, can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is very important for us to get to know the symptoms that indicate disease. The symptoms of sepsis appeared after parts of the body are experiencing infection or injury. Early symptoms of sepsis may develop quickly and include fever, chills, as well as the heartbeat and faster breath.
If it is not treated immediately, sepsis can develop rapidly and become severe with symptoms that indicate the presence of organ failure:
- The skin becomes cold and pale.
- Severe muscle pain.
- Decrease in the amount of urine
- Dazed or confused (decreasing level of consciousness)
- An abnormal heart rate
- Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
- Hard to breathe
Sepsis can turn into septic shock if the patient does not receive medical treatment as soon as possible. If you or anybody are suspected of having the infection , you must go to hospital immediately.
Causes of Sepsis
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition triggered by an infection. The location of the infection on the body that most often lead to complications in lungs, the urinary system, abdominal cavity and pelvis. Those infections are pneumonia, infection of the lining of the abdomen or peritonitis, appendicitis, and urinary tract infections.
Time to overcome the infection, our immune system will limit the location of the spread of the infection and produce white blood cells to eradicate the ‘’disease-causing microorganisms’’.
A very severe infection or a weak immune system will cause the infection to spread to other parts of the body. Spreading will result in the immune system out of control and trigger inflammation throughout the body. This is what happens when someone has sepsis. Excessive inflammation inhibits blood flow and damage tissue organ cells. With obstructed blood flow, blood pressure is decreased drastically. All this reduces the oxygen supply to the vital organs such as the kidneys and brain.This condition results permanent damage.
Sepsis can occur in all people and all ages who have an infection. But there are some groups of people who have a higher risk are :
- Infants, children and elderly
- People with long-term illnesses, such as kidney failure and diabetes.
- People with decreased immune systems, such as undergoing chemotherapy or HIV.
- People with severe disease are often hospitalized.
- People who have wounds, such as burns or incision.
- People who use medical devices, such as catheters or ventilator.
Treatment of Sepsis
Sepsis has conditions that are difficult to detect because the symptoms can also be caused by other diseases, such as fever, chills and rapid breathing. To search for infectious causes of sepsis and to monitor the organs of the body, a series of examinations need to be done. Examinations include :
Blood tests, for example, to confirm infection in the blood
Evaluate the function of the liver, kidneys and heart, as well as the number of platelets.
Checking blood pressure
Examination of samples of urine and feces.
Examination of fluid from the respiratory system, such as sputum or saliva.
If there is any biopsy injury, sample tissue or fluid is taken from the wound
X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan.
After sepsis is proven by tests, treatment will be started as soon as possible. Treatment of sepsis depends on the location and cause of the infection.Early treatment is very important for sepsis.If it is detected early enough and has not spread to vital organs of the body, antibiotic treatment can be done at home. In the cases of sepsis severe and septic shock should receive treatment in hospital.
The primary step in dealing with sepsis is antibiotics. The infusion of antibiotics should be given as soon as possible to lower the risk of complications and death. The duration of the use of antibiotics that are needed different depending on the conditions of severity of sepsis. There are some sufferers who require intravenous antibiotics for more than a week while others only require for a few days before getting antibiotic tablets.
People with sepsis will also need some supportive treatment for treating the symptoms of sepsis. Such measures include:
Drugs to raise blood pressure : For example, dobutamine and norepinephrine. These drugs will encourage related muscles to pump blood throughout the body and tighten blood vessels.
Giving oxygen: If oxygen levels in the blood low, doctor will give you the supply of oxygen through a hose or even breathing apparatus. Especially for people with pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Drip to replace fluids: Infusion will usually be given during the first 1-2 days to prevent dehydration and maintain kidney function. The doctor will also continue to monitor the condition of the kidney to examine the volume of urine.
Early Treatment can the risk of long term damage to the body’s organs and death. Do not delay to go to hospital if you or your family have an infection of sepsis