What is sepsis? Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. Annually 258,000 people die in the United States each year from sepsis.
Sepsis is not contagious and can happen as a result of any infection. The most common infections that lead to sepsis include urinary tract infections (UTIs), strep throat, influenza and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Surprisingly, sepsis is usually easy to treat if detected early. As the number one leading cause of death in hospitals, sepsis is taken quite seriously by the staff at Fayette County Memorial Hospital. Statistics show that our staff excels beyond the national average in this area. The current national average for a hospital’s ability to get the first line of treatment to sepsis patients within the standard of three hours is 50 percent. For the first half of 2018, Fayette County Memorial Hospital’s average is 62 percent.
There are three core components of this first line treatment in that three-hour period for all sepsis patients: drawing blood cultures to see if the infection has entered a patient’s blood stream. FCMH staff reached this benchmark 92 percent of the time; making sure the patient gets an antibiotic that will kill a broad range of bacteria, is also met 92 percent of the time; and drawing a lab to determine if the infection is negatively affecting a patient’s organs within that first three hours is met by FCMH staff 100 percent of the time.
If you’ve had an infection or suspect an infection, and develop a combination of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away: fever, chills, extreme pain or discomfort, pale or discolored skin, sleepiness or confusion, shortness of breath or feeling the worst you’ve ever felt.
For more information about sepsis, visit the Sepsis Alliance website at www.sepsis.org.