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Spotting the signs of Sepsis

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues. If not spotted and treated quickly, it can rapidly lead to organ failure and death. It can effect anyone, young or old, and the statistics are astounding when you think it’s more common than heart attacks and kills more people than bowel, breast and prostate cancer and road accidents combined. Early identification and treatment could save 14,000 lives and reduce hospitalisation by 400,000 days per year. So how do you identify early signs? Sepsis can happen as a response to any infection or injury anywhere in the body. Of course many elderly people are more prone to illness and so it’s best to follow the following guidelines:

Stage 1. During this stage a person may experience a temperature greater than 101.3 or less than 95 degrees as well as a rapid heart rate of over 90 beats per minute and a rapid rate of respiration of more than 20 breaths per minute.

Stage 2. A person experiencing stage two sepsis likely has a tough time breathing as well as stomach pains. There is also a decrease in urine output, changes in a person mental state and the heart pumping at an abnormal speed and rate.

Stage 3. Stage 3 is often referred to as septic shock. When the above symptoms go unnoticed, septic shock can occur. The most severe symptom is a dramatic drop in blood pressure. When this happens, the result can be fatal. (Source

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