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SEPSIS - A True Medical Emergency


Sepsis is the body's extreme response to an infection. It is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY and without timely treatment, it can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure and death. Sepsis happens when an infection you already have-in your skin, lungs, urinary tract or somewhere else-triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Common infections can sometimes lead to sepsis. Sepsis is a deadly response to the infection. Every infection does not turn septic but if you have had an infection recently you need to watch for the following signs.

If your heartbeat and breathing is normal for you, you have not had a fever in the last 24 hours, are not feeling chilled, your energy level is as usual, your thinking is clear, you have taken your antibiotic as prescribed and your wound site, if you have one, is not painful, red, smelling bad or draining pus, you are within the normal range of an infection or the green zone. You just need to watch things.

If your heartbeat is faster than usual, your breathing is a little bit more difficult and faster than normal, you have a fever between 100° and 101.4°, you feel chilled and can't get warm, are too tired to do most of your usual activities, feel confused or are not thinking clearly, have a bad cough or a cough that hasn't changed or your wound or IV site have changed you are in the yellow zone and you need to contact your physician today.

If your heartbeat is very fast, your breathing is very fast and more difficult, your temperature is below 96.9° or your skin or fingernails are pale or blue, your fever is above 101.5°, you have not urinated for 5 or more hours, you are very tired, you are not making sense to your family or caregivers, you feel sick, your cough is much worse or your wound or IV site are painful, red, smells bad or has pus, you are in the red zone and you need to seek immediate medical attention.

If you suspect sepsis or show the above signs, you need to contact your local doctor or call Sabetha Family Practice at (785) 284-2141 to make an appointment. Spotting the signs of sepsis early and getting treatment saves lives!