We often hear about serious health risks like cancer, heart disease and stroke, but one of the most dangerous health conditions people can experience is an extreme reaction called sepsis. Nearly 1.7 million Americans develop sepsis each year, and of them, 350,000 die as a result, either in hospital or hospice care.
It starts with an infection
Sepsis is the body's extreme response to an existing infection—triggering a chain reaction throughout the entire body—developing into a life-threatening medical emergency. Infections that lead to sepsis can be something as common as a urinary tract infection, strep throat or a cut that becomes infected. But when not treated properly, the infection—or the reaction from it—worsens and can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.
Sepsis can impact anyone
Everyone can get an infection, and almost any infection can lead to sepsis. While older adults, children under one, people with severe illnesses and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible, sepsis can strike anyone—at any age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a typical year:
Early detection—and T.I.M.E.—is key
When detected early, sepsis is often treatable. If you have an infection of any kind, or think you might have developed one, make sure T.I.M.E. is on your side. Watch for the following symptoms and signs by using the T.I.M.E. acronym:
Prevent or minimize the impact of sepsis
Seek help immediately
If you—or someone you love—develops symptoms of sepsis, get the help you need. At Howard Memorial Hospital, our emergency services department is staffed 24/7 by experts trained to help. To learn more about emergency services at HMH, visit our Emergency Services page or call 870-845-6950 with questions.
Posted in: Health