What is Sepsis?


Have you ever heard of blood poisoning? Well, that is what some call sepsis, a life-threatening condition that can happen when an infection spreads through your whole body. The infection could be from bacteria or a virus. To fight the infection, your body sends a lot of chemicals into your bloodstream, and the response is so extreme that it causes inflammation throughout your body.

If sepsis is not treated early, it can damage your organs, and can kill you.

Sepsis – What You Need to Know
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Signs & Symptoms

  • Fever above 101 F and/or shaking chills
  • Very low temperature (below 96.8 F)
  • Confusion, sleepiness and/or less alert
  • Throwing up, diarrhea, unable to keep food and fluids down for more than 12 hours
  • Fast heart beat without activity
  • Hard to breathe, breathing very fast or very slow

Report any symptoms to your doctor, who can determine if this is sepsis

Early Treatment Is Key

It’s very important to start treating sepsis as early as possible. The severity of the infection gets worse over time, so treatment can halt the progression of sepsis and significantly improve patient outcomes. Sepsis is an emergency, just like a heart attack or a stroke.

Suspect Sepsis? Say Sepsis

If you suspect sepsis, call your doctor or go to the Emergency Room right away. If you’re already at the hospital, don’t be afraid to say, “I think this might be sepsis” to your care team.