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Sepsis | Health & Fitness


SEPSIS S


serious condition responsible for 37,000 hospital deaths a year in the UK. Dear Doctor shares the facts you need to know.


118 DEAR DOCTOR WITH DR CHRIS STEELE


Although anyone with an infection is at risk of sepsis, certain people are far more susceptible to the condition than others. These include: 1. The very young or the very old 2. People with weakened immune systems, for example those with HIV/ AIDS 3. Those who are already very unwell, particularly those in intensive care 4. Patients with wounds or injuries, such as burns 5. People with invasive devices such as breathing tubes or intravenous catheters


What you need to know Sepsis is a


epsis is a serious condition triggered by an infection that causes the body’s immune system to go into


overdrive. This sets off a series of potentially life-threatening reactions in the body, which can lead to severe infl ammation, swelling and blood clotting. As blood pressure is decreased by these reactions, blood fl ow to vital organs is reduced. If left untreated for too long, this can quickly lead to multiple organ failure. Fatality rates are fairly high, with 37,000 of the 100,000 people admitted to hospital in the UK with sepsis each year dying from the infection. However, if caught early enough, sepsis can be successfully treated with a combination of antibiotics and intravenous fl uids. It


WHO’S AT RISK?


is therefore important to be able to recognise the early warning signs so you and your loved ones are prepared to seek treatment as quickly as possible, should the need arise.


Common Causes An infection in any part of the body


can bring about sepsis, however, the lungs, urinary tract, abdomen and pelvis are the most common areas of infection that lead to the condition. The following infections are sometimes linked to sepsis:  Pneumonia  Appendicitis  Urinary tract infection  Gallbladder infection (cholecystitus)  Post-surgical infections  Skin infections, including cellulitis


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