September is Sepsis Awareness Month!

Angie Szumlinski
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August 23, 2023
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Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. While sepsis can impact anyone, including the sick, and people of all ages, some groups are more likely to be affected including older adults and those with weakened immune systems. 

What are the signs of sepsis? A person with sepsis could have one, all, or a combination of the following: 

  • Elevated or lower than normal body temperature 
  • Signs and symptoms of infection 
  • Confusion, sleepiness, difficult to rouse 
  • Severe pain, discomfort, shortness of breath

Did you know that for every hour treatment is delayed, the risk of death increases by 4%-9% and that as many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented with rapid diagnosis and treatment? In the United States, sepsis takes a life every two minutes and is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals!  

Isn’t it time to coordinate a sepsis awareness plan with your infection preventionist and medical director? Think about it. If I were a betting woman, I would guess that you have licensed staff caring for your residents who do not know the signs and symptoms of sepsis or how important time is when it comes to preventing a negative outcome. There’s no better time than now! Your residents and staff will thank you! Stay well and stay informed! 

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