PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
September is Sepsis Awareness month, and while sepsis is one of the most common medical conditions, it is often unrecognized until it is too late to cure. Sepsis can happen to anyone, at any time.
More than 1.7 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with sepsis every year, and sepsis takes a life every two minutes. The condition can affect both the young and old with more than 75,000 children developing severe sepsis each year resulting in 6,800 pediatric sepsis deaths in the U.S. annually.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, sepsis has been a serious concern. “Sepsis is one of the most common complications observed in severe cases of COVID-19,” said Jean-Sebastien Rachoin, MD, MBA, medical director, Center for Hospital-Based Services and co-medical director for the Center for Critical Care Medicine at Cooper University Health Care. “Recent research has shown that hospitalized COVID-19 patients are 22% more likely to develop sepsis than hospitalized influenza patients, and four times as likely to develop severe septic shock.”
When it comes to sepsis, TIME matters. For every hour treatment is delayed, the risk of death increases by as much as 8%. As many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented with rapid diagnosis and treatment.
What are the symptoms of sepsis?
T – TEMPERATURE that’s abnormal
I – Signs of an INFECTION
M – MENTAL DECLINE
E – Feeling EXTREMELY ILL, Shortness of Breath
If someone suspects that they have sepsis or if something seems not quite right, they should seek medical attention immediately as sepsis is a medical emergency. It’s important to say, “I am concerned that I have sepsis.” A health care provider will do a physical exam and order tests to look for the signs of sepsis such as an increased body temperature, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and high white blood cell count. This will confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of sepsis so that it can be treated appropriately. For more information about sepsis, visit www.sepsis.org.