The Scottish Government has undertaken a campaign to alert and inform people about “sepsis” and how deadly it can be if not identified and treated quickly. Yearly, some 20,000 Scots fall ill with it, 4000–or six per day–die from it, and untold more are left with permanent, even life-changing after-effects (chronic pain, amputations, kidney damage, memory loss, more).
You can’t mess with sepsis! You need to get treatment IMMEDIATELY as every hour delayed increases the risk of serious complications and even death.
Also known as “septicemia” and “blood poisoning,” sepsis occurs when bacteria enters the blood stream and the body reacts with a violent immune response as the body attacks its’ own organs. Bacteria enters the blood stream via a cut, insect bite, abrasion, catheter line, tooth extraction/infected teeth, unclean surgical wound, or kidney/urinary tract infection, among any number of ways. Children, the elderly, recovering surgical patients, those with weakened immune systems, and those in high-bacteria environments (i.e. hospitals) are most susceptible, but ANYBODY can be affected at any time.
Symptoms can mimic other illnesses and conditions–all life threatening on their own–such as the flu, blood clots in the lung (“pulmonary embolisms”), heart attacks, strokes or even diabetes as similar symptoms run across these particular conditions. Use your instincts that this is serious — keep asking questions and getting tested until you are SURE you are not being mis-diagnosed or what you’re feeling is not being mis-identified.
If you’re showing more than one of the symptoms, get immediate medical attention as you could be in a medical emergency. Call NHS 24 on 111 and ask, “is this sepsis?” If these symptoms occur very suddenly and/or progress very rapidly, call 999, and save your, or someone else’s, life.
Early signs of sepsis include shortness of breath, very high/very low temperatures, increased heart beating and palpitations, weakness, chills/shivering, slurred speech, severe muscle pain, diarrhoea, nausea and pale skin (especially in the face) can quickly advance to the more dangerous signs of the sepsis: confusion/”foggy” thinking, clammy/blotchy or bruised-like skin, shock, becoming unconscious, and little or no urine output.
Early, fast diagnosis and treatment using antibiotics can stop the advance of the sepsis. The life you save could be your own!!