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Sepsis

What is sepsis

Sepsis infection is a very serious illness, a condition in which your body is facing a very strong infection. Sepsis has distinguishable symptoms and is most often described as a syndrome, caused by the presence of microorganisms and/or their toxins in the bloodstream or tissues. While bacteria are the most common cause of sepsis, it can also be caused by fungi, parasites or viruses. Any sepsis would be a step from ordinary infection, so urinary sepsis would be worse than an UTI (urinary tract infection) Sepsis often accompanies meningitis and osteomyelitis (infection of the bones) in children.

Sepsis shock

Sepsis can be confirmed by blood tests that show a positive blood culture, cases when people have been taking antibiotics being an exception. Sepsis shock is caused by the drop of blood pressure which is followed by major body organs and systems to stop functioning as they should.

Symptoms of sepsis

Signs of sepsis are general inflammation, fever, leukocystosis (elevated number of white blood cells), tachycardia (raised heart rate) and tachypnea (raised breathing rate), chills similar to flu chills.

Neonatal sepsis

Newborns, especially premature infants affected by neonatal sepsis. Early onset sepsis syndrome in babies is associated with the acquisition of microorganisms that the infant received from the mother. Neonatal sepsis can be a result of transplacental infection or an infection ascending from mother’s cervix. Infants with a very low birth weight (below 1000 g) are more susceptible to incidence of sepsis and the risk of death is higher in infants with low birth rate than in full-term neonates.

Pneumonia is more common for early onset sepsis, while meningitis and bacteremia are more common in late onset sepsis.

Sepsis treatment

Please bear in mind that home remedies will not suffice to cure sepsis. In cases of severe sepsis, aggressive treatment is needed and it should be done in a hospital intensive care unit. Sepsis is treated with antibiotics and fluids to keep the blood pressure at a normal level. Usually insulin is used to maintain a stable blood sugar levels. Likely, the patient will be placed on oxygen. Also, the septic fluids may be drained out of the body and replaced.

Many scientific researches are being conducted in he field of raising the body’s own immune system to fight microbes.
Strengthening the immune system and Sepsis prevention

Most cases of sepsis can not be prevented, but you can do your best to avoid infections and to strengthen your immune system.

- Wash your hands before preparing food, eating, after using the toilet, public transport, etc.
- Whenever you face a serious infection, seek medical care.
- Exercise, and get enough sleep.
- Eat and live healthy and follow the Immunity Boosting Diet.

Here is more information on how to strengthen and boost your immune system to fight and prevent diseases.

Surviving sepsis guidelines

Severe sepsis and septic shock affect millions of people around the world each year. In 2004, the first  internationally accepted guidelines were published to improve the treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock. In 2008, these guidelines were updated. The key guidelines are:

  • early goal-directed resuscitation of the septic patient during the first 6 hours after recognition,
  • blood cultures prior to antibiotic therapy,
  • promptly performed imaging studies,
  • administration of a broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy within 1 hour of diagnosis,
  • a reassessment of antibiotic therapy with microbiology and clinical data to narrow coverage when appropriate,
  • a usual 7 to 10 day monitored antibiotic therapy,
  • source control,
  • administration of either crystalloid or colloid resuscitation,
  • fluid challenge to restore mean circulating filling pressure,
  • reduction in rate of fluid administration with rising filing pressures and no improvement in tissue perfussion.

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