Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to¬†infection¬†causes injury to its own tissues and organs.
Severe sepsis is sepsis causing¬†poor organ function¬†or insufficient blood flow.
If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death.¬†Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.
Causes of Sepsis
Sepsis is the immune system‚Äôs overreaction to an infection or injury. Normally the immune system fights infection but sometimes, for reasons not yet understood, it attacks our body‚Äôs own organs and tissues.
Most commonly, the infection is¬†bacterial, but it may also be¬†fungal,¬†viral, or¬†protozoan.¬†The infection may start anywhere in the body including in the lungs, brain,¬†urinary tract, skin, and¬†abdominal organs.
Sepsis can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one sign, and symptoms present differently between adults and children.
The Sepsis Trust (https://sepsistrust.org) recommends that an adult should seek medical help urgently if they develop any of these signs:
- Slurred speech or confusion
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain
- Passing no urine (in a day)
- Severe breathlessness
- It feels like you‚Äôre going to die
- Skin mottled or discoloured
A child may have sepsis if he or she:
- Is breathing very fast
- Has a ‚Äėfit‚Äô or convulsion
- Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
- Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
- Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
- Feels abnormally cold to touch
A child under 5 may have sepsis if he or she:
- Is not feeding
- Is vomiting repeatedly
- Has not passed urine for 12 hours