Peninsula Home Care Empowers Patients with Information on SepsisPublished on - March 14, 2016
Sepsis puts One Million People in the Hospital Each Year
SALISBURY, MD – Visualize the human body in a boxing ring up against “Irwin the Infection.” The body puts up a good fight by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream to destroy harmful bacteria. After a winning battle, the body wipes out the infection and the person gets better. With sepsis, the chemicals from the body’s own defenses trigger inflammatory responses, which can impair blood flow to organs, like the brain and heart and lead to organ failure and tissue damage. Not quite a victory for the body.
Most Americans don’t know what sepsis is but more people are hospitalized for it each year than for heart attack and stroke combined. Sepsis is the most expensive cause of hospitalization across the nation and it is deadly. Between one in eight patients with sepsis will die during hospitalization.
“Sepsis is triggered by an infection,” said Nancy Bagwell, Peninsula Home Care Area Director of Operations. “It can develop from something as simple as a common scrape or small cut to more serious medical problems such as pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, meningitis or appendicitis. And it is a condition that does not discriminate.”
Who is at risk?
Anyone can get sepsis as a bad outcome from an infection but the risk is higher in:
- people with weakened immune systems
- babies and very young children
- elderly people
- people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, and kidney or liver disease
- people suffering from a severe burn or wound
What are the symptoms of sepsis?
There is no single sign or symptom of sepsis. It is, rather, a combination of symptoms. Since sepsis is the result of an infection, symptoms can include infection signs (diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, etc.), as well as any of the symptoms below:
- S – Shivering, fever, or very cold
- E – Extreme pain or general discomfort (“worst ever”)
- P – Pale or discolored skin
- S – Sleepy, difficult to rouse, confused
- I – “I feel like I might die”
- S – Short of breath
How can I prevent sepsis?
- Get vaccinated against the flu, pneumonia, and any other infections that could lead to sepsis.
- Prevent infections that can lead to sepsis by cleaning scrapes and wounds and practicing good hygiene.
- If you have an infection, look for signs like: fever, chills, rapid breathing and heartrate, rash, confusion, and disorientation.
For more information about Peninsula Home Care visit www.peninsulahomecare.com.
About Peninsula Home Care
Providing skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy for more than 30 years, Peninsula Home Care ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 50,000 patients in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties in Maryland and Sussex and Kent counties in Delaware. In 2017, PHC and PHCN were designated as Preferred Home Care Provider by Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Nanticoke Health Services.