Know the risks. Spot the signs. Act fast.
Sept 13 and my yearly PSA. Today is World Sepsis Awareness Day. This is not to be alarmist, to make you paranoid or for pity. It is just straight up for education.
First…What is sepsis? Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a life-threatening medical emergency. Sepsis happens when an infection you already have —in your skin, lungs, urinary tract, or somewhere else—triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.
Second…Please read the symptoms and file it in the back of your head. Experts suggest that if you have 3 or more to simply ask “Could this be sepsis?” For some reason, sepsis is NOT often top of mind in the medical field. People are so often misdiagnosed with something else! Doctors should monitor your vital signs and could do a blood culture. I am part of a Post Sepsis Symptom/Survivor Group and I can’t tell you how many of us were sent home with “the flu” and misdiagnosed. I was sent home from the ER the first night with a 105+ fever, over 7 years ago. But, I am not sure if I had sepsis at that point. Thankfully, when I did return, they were on top of the signs and symptoms of sepsis. I was one of the lucky ones. I have learned that it can’t hurt to ask and bring the topic to the forefront but it could save your life or your limbs. (Many in my group have had legs or arms amputated due to the infection and late diagnosis) Doctors can simply check and say “no, it is not sepsis”, that is the worst that can happen from asking. Anyone can get sepsis. Common causes in my group are flu/pneumonia (like me), a cut, a UTI, botched surgery, giving birth, etc. Bacteria gets in your bloodstream. It has no filter. The numbers are staggering.
There is so much awareness that needs to be done. So this is me doing my part. Know the risks, spot the signs and act fast. Just file it away for safekeeping and I hope you never need to ask “could it be sepsis?” xoxox