The most basic precepts in first aid treatment of minor injuries are to "clean, treat, protect". This helps a wound to heal, and as important - these steps help avoid infection or sepsis, which is a life-threatening complication of an infection.
Sepsis can be deadly:
• Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection.
• Sepsis begins outside the hospital for nearly 80% of patients, yet 7 in 10 patients with sepsis had recently used healthcare services or had chronic diseases requiring frequent medical care.
There are over 200,000 cases of Sepsis in the USA each year!
Sepsis occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. This can cause a cascade of changes that damage multiple organ systems, leading them to fail, sometimes even resulting in death.
Symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fast heart rate, and mental confusion.
Treatment includes antibiotics and intravenous fluids.
Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. It can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis is difficult to diagnose. It happens quickly and can be confused with other conditions early on. Sepsis is a medical emergency. Time matters. When sepsis is quickly recognized and treated, lives are saved. Healthcare providers are the critical link to preventing, recognizing, and treating sepsis.
Healthcare providers can:
- Prevent infections. Follow infection control requirements (e.g., hand hygiene) and ensure patients receive recommended vaccines (e.g., flu and pneumococcal).
- Educate patients and their families. Stress the need to prevent infections, manage chronic conditions, and seek care if signs of severe infection or sepsis are present.
- Think sepsis. Know sepsis signs and symptoms to identify and treat patients early.
- Act fast. If sepsis is suspected, order tests to determine if an infection is present, where it is, and what caused it. Start antibiotics and other medical care immediately. Document antibiotic dose, duration, and purpose.
- Reassess patient management. Check patient progress frequently. Reassess antibiotic therapy 24-48 hours or sooner to change therapy as needed. Be sure the antibiotic type, dose, and duration are correct.