Sepsis is a Medical Emergency

5:25 am Health Care

Dr KK Aggarwal

[IMA White paper]

1. 72% of patients with sepsis, a fast-moving deadly illness, are seen by doctors in recent past representing missed opportunities to catch it early or prevent it.
2. Common conditions leading to sepsis are pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, skin and gut
3. There is no specific test for sepsis and symptoms can vary, which means it is often missed. Three is no standard definition also.
4. Preventive Flu, meningococcal & pneumonia vaccines and washing hands can help
5. As over CDC over 258,000 Americans die of sepsis annually more than deaths from heart attack.
6. Sepsis is most common among older people, the very young and those with compromised immune systems 7. The condition can rapidly advance to septic shock
8. In 2011, sepsis was the No. 2 reason for readmissions, following congestive heart failure. {BMJ]
9. When sepsis is caught early, prognosis is very good, but mortality climbs to 25 to 30 percent for severe sepsis and 40 to 70 percent if septic shock occurs.
10. “Early” can mean within a matter of hours.
11. In septic shock chances for survival decrease 7.6 percent for every hour that it goes untreated.
12. Warning signals are fever, elevated heart rate, elevated respiration, low blood pressure and mental confusion that worsens within a few hours
13. Once in sepsis address low blood pressure by administering fluids or by IV drugs to constrict blood vessels and raise blood pressure.
14. Start broad-spectrum antibiotics till cultures are available
15. Outcome depends on fluids, blood pressure, antibiotics, source control and underlying health status.

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