A new study published by the medical journal The Lancet, has revealed that sepsis accounts for 1 in 5 deaths globally. Additionally, sepsis is the most common cause of deaths in the hospital in the United States. According to the study, it is estimated that there were 48.9 million cases of sepsis in 2017, resulting in 11 million deaths. The study also found that highest incidence of sepsis occurred in children and the elderly. This is concerning because sepsis is most dangerous for these populations.
Sepsis is caused by an infection. Sepsis is triggered by the body’s immune system response when the infection reaches the bloodstream. Chemicals are released into the bloodstream resulting in inflammation. This can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death. Anyone can get an infection, and any infection that is not properly and timely treated can lead to sepsis. Failures by medical providers in hospitals to appropriately and promptly diagnose and treat infections, can result in hospital patients developing sepsis.
Because sepsis is a life-threatening medical emergency, and because anyone can get sepsis, is important for everyone to practice good hygiene to prevent infections. This includes hand washing and cleaning and covering cuts and injuries. It is also important to recognize the signs of an infection and ensure that you receive prompt and appropriate medical attention if an infection develops. Typical signs of an infection may include, but are certainly not limited to, redness, swelling and warmth at the area of an injury, fever, chills, and sweats.