What is Sepsis
eMedicineHealth.com describes sepsis as "a condition in which the body is fighting a severe infection that has spread via the bloodstream. If a patient becomes "septic," they will likely have low blood pressure leading to poor circulation and lack of perfusion of vital tissues and organs."
Sepsis is triggered by an underlying infection generally of bacterial origin although viruses and fungi can cause sepsis to develop.
Sources of Infection
The most common sites of infection leading to sepsis are the urinary tract, abdomen and lungs.
Types of infection:
- Chest infections such as pneumonia
- Urinary tract infection
- Meningitis or encephalitis
Signs and Symptoms
- Pyrexia, although some patients may have a normal or even low temperature
- Rigors (Shaking)
- Confusion or Disorientation
- Low blood pressure
- Occasionally patient may complain of joint pain
Patients at Risk
There are groups of people who are more at risk of sepsis and these are:
- Those with a weakened immune system from conditions such as HIV
- Very Young or Elderly
- Chemotherapy Patients
- Patients who have had surgery
Reassurance, O2, Monitoring vital signs, Treat as you would a patient who is Shocked. Request paramedic backup if not already on scene
Transport to Hospital