Sepsis (patient information)
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Sepsis On the Web
Sepsis is a severe illness in which the bloodstream is overwhelmed by bacteria.
What are the symptoms of Sepsis?
A change in mental status and hyperventilation may be the earliest signs of sepsis. In general, symptoms of sepsis can include:
- Confusion or delirium
- Decreased urine output
- Fever or low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Lightheadedness due to low blood pressure
- Rapid heart beat
- Skin rash
- Warm skin
What causes Sepsis?
Sepsis is caused by a bacterial infection that can begin anywhere in the body. Common places where an infection might start include:
- The bowel (usually seen with peritonitis)
- The kidneys (upper urinary tract infection or pyelonephritis)
- The lining of the brain (meningitis)
- The liver or the gall bladder
- The lungs (bacterial pneumonia)
- The skin (cellulitis)
In children, sepsis may accompany infection of the bone (osteomyelitis). In hospitalized patients, common sites of infection include intravenous lines, surgical wounds, surgical drains, and sites of skin breakdown known as bedsores (decubitus ulcers).
Who is at highest risk?
Any infectious site can lead to sepsis if not taken proper care of.
When to seek urgent medical care?
Call a doctor if you develop symptoms of sepsis
Other tests that may be done include:
- Blood gases
- Kidney function tests
- Platelet count
- White blood cell count
- Blood differential
- Fibrin degradation products
- Peripheral smear
If you have sepsis, you will be admitted to a hospital, usually the intensive care unit (ICU). Antibiotics are given through a vein (intravenously). Oxygen, fluids given through a vein, and medications that increase blood pressure may be needed. Dialysis may be necessary if there is kidney failure. A breathing machine (mechanical ventilation) is necessary if there is lung failure. For some patients, treatment with powerful anti-inflammatory medications called corticosteroids or recombinant human activated protein C may be helpful.
Medications to avoid
Patients diagnosed with Sepsis should avoid using the following medications:
- Sitagliptin And Metformin Hydrochloride
If you have been diagnosed with Sepsis, consult your physician before starting or stopping any of these medications.
Where to find medical care for Sepsis?
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
Sepsis is often life threatening, especially in people with a weakened immune system or with a chronic illness.
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation
- Problems with blood flow to vital organs (brain, heart, kidneys)
- Septic shock