If a person’s immune system becomes so active due to an infection that the organs stop functioning properly, then such a fatal condition is called sepsis. Such a dangerous reaction can cause tissue inside the body to be destroyed or death due to the failure of many organs to function.

A recent study published in the journal Lancet suggests that sepsis is the cause of one-fourth of deaths worldwide every year. For example, in Germany alone, sepsis was the cause of death of about 15 per cent of people who died in hospitals, which is more than deaths due to all kinds of dangerous cancers.

Despite such a fatal situation, there seems to be a lack of information and awareness about it. The German Sepsis Foundation recommends that people be vaccinated against influenza virus and pneumococcus. Newborns with weak immune system and elderly people with diabetes, cancer, AIDS and other serious diseases are at particular risk.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Viruses, bacteria, fungus or parasites – all these types of microbes can cause sepsis. Pneumonia, a wound infection, urinary tract infection or stomach infection often cause sepsis. In addition to many common seasonal influenza viruses, it is also caused by other fast-spreading viruses – such as Ebola, yellow fever, dengue, swine flu, bird flu, or the corona virus nowadays.

Apart from the common signs of infection, the specific symptoms that indicate sepsis are sudden drop in blood pressure and with that the heart rate increases rapidly. Along with fever, heavy and brisk breathing and feeling very ill are symptoms of sepsis. The next and more serious phase is followed by septic shock, in which blood pressure falls to dangerous levels. In this case, emergency service should be enlisted.

Is there any treatment for sepsis?

Many cases of sepsis occur in hospitals but often they are detected quite late. It is treated immediately after finding out. Blood tests are done, antibiotics are given and care is also taken to maintain blood flow and ventilation. Sometimes sepsis patients are put into artificial coma as a precaution. During this, arrangements are made to save the patient’s organs through all the devices.

Such intensive treatment is not only very complicated but also very expensive. Only US hospitals spend 24 billion dollars on it every year. But the truth is that only limited number of patients can be given ICU facilities due to limited beds in hospitals. In such cases, patients who are prone to severe respiratory problems and sepsis due to infections such as corona virus are put in the ICU first. This is the reason that ICU facility cannot be provided to every patient of corona in the current system and hence preventing infection is the most effective way to save maximum life.

Long-term effect 

It is a matter of relief that about half of the patients do not see any serious effect after sepsis. At the same time, in the other half of the cases, three months after being discharged from the hospital, the patient gets severe infection, kidney failure or any cardiovascular disease.

In addition, in many patients with sepsis, further paralysis, depression, or nervousness may occur. Therefore, the most important thing is to somehow save the patient from sepsis or to get it diagnosed as soon as possible so that any therapy can increase their chances of saving their lives.

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