Modern medicine brings us all comfort in knowing that our health is held to a higher standard. Gone are the days of medieval poultices and leech-based medicine of the dark ages. In today’s medical world, we have clean hospitals, trained physicians, and antibiotics to keep everyone in our community free of infection!
This makes it hard to imagine that something like sepsis is still around today.
Sepsis is the term for severe infections which moves into the bloodstream. It is potentially life-threatening condition that many people are unaware of. Most people imagine that sepsis is a thing of the past, before modern medication was available, but sepsis can still occur. In honor of Sepsis Awareness Month, Texarkana Emergency Center wants to keep everyone in our community informed about how sepsis develops and what to do if you see symptoms of it.
What Does Sepsis Look Like?
If sepsis is caused by severe infection, then how do you know when you have it? Most infections are easy to treat with antibiotics and other medications, but sometimes infections get so severe that they go septic, making them far more dangerous. Sepsis tends to occur in patients with temperatures above 101⁰F or below 96.8⁰F, a heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute, or a respiratory rate of higher than 20 breaths per minute. If someone is displaying these symptoms, they may have a septic infection.
Septic shock, on the other hand, can have different symptoms. Septic shock means that a septic infection has gotten severe and is a serious threat to a patient’s health. The signs of this are:
• Very low urine output
• Sudden changes in mental status and cognitive ability (confusion, memory, behavior)
• Decreased platelet count
• Difficulty breathing
• Abnormal heart beat
• Abdominal pain
• Extremely low blood pressure which does not respond to rehydration
Any signs of sepsis and septic shock must be treated, and it is advised that any patient experiencing these symptoms sees a doctor immediately.
When Does Sepsis Occur?
Ironically, sepsis occurs most often in hospitalized patients, though sometimes it happens outside of hospitals as well. Usually infections are more likely to turn septic when they are exposed to germs through unclean medical supplies, crowded patient rooms, or complications with the inciting infection. Thanks to modern medicine, cases of sepsis are low as doctors can detect symptoms quicker than they used to and treatment facilities, like Texarkana Emergency Center, are kept cleaner and more organized than hospitals of the past.
Sometimes, though, sepsis can still happen, and it doesn’t always happen when a hospital staff is on call to give immediate aid. If someone you know has an infection that seems to get worse, or if someone is sick with a bacteria illness that persists, keep a close eye for signs of sepsis.
If you notice any signs of sepsis or septic shock, it is vital that you seek immediate medical attention. Sepsis may be treatable, but it is still an emergency condition. To prevent severe, long-term health conditions, anyone who may be suffering from a septic infection needs to see a physician immediately.
In cases of medical emergencies, Texarkana Emergency Center is open 24/7 with concierge-level healthcare. Our board-certified doctors and nurses are ready to treat patients of all ages, with little to no wait time.
This blog is written by Maggie Berardo, content writer at Nutex Health.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Texarkana Emergency Center or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.