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What is Sepsis?

Written by Craig Escudé, MD, FAAFP

 

To put it simply sepsis is a term used to describe a serious illness characterized by a bacterial infection in the bloodstream. You might’ve heard the term blood poisoning, that’s another term for sepsis.

Sources of sepsis are urinary tract infection and pneumonia. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the signs of these conditions and get them treated early. Earlier treatment of these and other infections may prevent someone from becoming septic.

If someone is getting septic, you might see them looking pale, sweaty, their heart rate may go up, they could be breathing harder, weak and confused. You might also see blotchiness of their skin and a high fever.

Sepsis is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately. Every hour that treatment is delayed increases the risk of death by 10 percent. To use a phrase you probably heard In other webinars and e-learning modules by HRS U “when in doubt, send them out!” That’s an important thing to remember.

Join us for our upcoming webinar “The Fatal Five, Plus!“. In that webinar you’ll learn about sepsis and several other very important medical conditions that are common in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You’ll learn how to recognize them early and help people that you support live happier and healthier lives.