Sepsis is your body’s extreme and life-threatening response to infection (CDC, 2019). More importantly, sepsis is a medical emergency.
What are the warning signs of sepsis?
The warning signs of sepsis can resemble many other health conditions. Be aware of the following:
- Fever, shivering, or feeling very cold
- Clammy or sweaty skin
- High heart rate
- Confusion or disorientation
- Shortness of breath
- Dramatic drop in blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
- Darkened or reduced urine
- Severe pain without a known cause
Who is at risk for developing sepsis?
- Those older than 65 and those under one-year old (CDC, 2019) are at highest risk.
- Those with weakened immune systems due to medication or disease.
- Those with chronic illness, such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cancer or lung disease (CDC, 2019).
- Anyone can get an infection, and almost any infection can lead to sepsis (CDC, 2020).
What should I do if I think I have sepsis?
If you are experiencing any of the signs of sepsis, seek medical care and state, “Could this be sepsis?”
- Sepsis begins outside the hospital in 80% of those affected (CDC, 2019).
- Early identification and treatment are clinically proven to improve patient outcomes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sepsis Questions and Answers. Updated August 26, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/basic/qa.html. Accessed August 27, 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Get Ahead of Sepsis – Know the Risks. Spot the Signs. Act Fast. Updated February 25, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/patientsafety/features/get-ahead-of-sepsis.html. Accessed August 27, 2020.