Sepsis=NO JOKE!

Sepsis=NO JOKE!

Tracy Hansen, APRN, FNP

One diagnosis that is sure to make my heart pound is sepsis. Sepsis most always means a very sick patient that requires careful monitoring and antibiotics quickly! I would like to take the time to share with you some facts about sepsis and recognition signs and symptoms to keep on your radar.

So what is sepsis?

Sepsis is defined as an infection that overwhelms the body’s ability to ward off the offending agent that leads to tissue damage, organ failure, and potentially death.

What’s the big deal? Check out these startling facts!

  • Sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, accounting for a whopping 35% of deaths!
  • 6,800 U.S. kids die of sepsis each year, more than from pediatric cancers, YIKES!
  • Sepsis causes at least 261,000 maternal deaths each year worldwide
  • Sepsis survivors have a shortened life expectancy and are 42% more likely to die by suicide
  • 80% of sepsis deaths can be prevented with stealth diagnosis and treatment

What can I do to recognize sepsis criteria before it gets serious?

Check out the infographic below. It highlights sepsis criteria that can clue you in that something serious is going on. Time is of the essence:

T – Temperature higher or lower than normal
I – Infection…may have signs and symptoms of an infection
M – Mental Decline…confused, sleepy, difficult to rouse
E – Extremely Ill “I feel like I might die,” severe pain or discomfort Sepsis Criteria

You think it’s sepsis…now what?

  • Head for the nearest Emergency Department or Call 911.
  • Murray County Medical Center is ready and experienced to diagnose and treat sepsis quickly.

Sepsis treatment needs to be timely

For sepsis treatment we refer to the “golden hour” meaning that when someone is really sick with a sepsis infection, in order to have the best outcomes, we want to start an antibiotic within the first hour after identifying sepsis.

For more information refer to

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