Surprisingly, most hospital deaths are not from heart disease or cancer but from sepsis, a severe and potentially life-threatening condition that results from an untreated or improperly treated infection. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that approximately 1.7 million U.S. adults develop sepsis each year with about 270,000 dying as a result. Further, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports U.S. hospitals have experienced a 40% increase over a seven-year time span in the rate of Medicare beneficiaries admitted with sepsis.
While sepsis can affect anyone, certain individuals are at a greater risk , such as:
- Those with compromised immune systems, which could be due to illnesses such as HIV/AIDS or cancer or taking immuno-suppressing medications, such as steroids or anti-rejection drugs taken after an organ transplant
- Young babies
- The elderly
- Those who have been recently hospitalized or have undergone major surgery
- Those with diabetes
Infections, of any kind or source, require swift diagnosis and treatment to prevent the progression to sepsis, which can be fatal or have lifelong effects such as limb amputation or organ failure.
The most common symptoms of sepsis include:
- Rapid Breathing
- Elevated Heart Rate
- Confusion and Disorientation
This list is by no means all inclusive. If you believe you have an undiagnosed infection or have an infection that is worsening or not improving, seek medical assistance promptly.
If you or a loved one has suffered from sepsis, it is important to understand your options. Contact us.