With September designated as Sepsis Awareness Month, and the tenth annual World Sepsis Day this September 13th, there is a renewed focus on this global health crisis which affects up to 50 million people a year and is associated with 20% of all deaths worldwide.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition which occurs when the body’s response to infection starts a chain reaction that injures its own tissues and organs. If not identified and treated rapidly, sepsis can lead to shock, organ failure and death. For those that survive, the physical damage caused by sepsis can negatively affect their health for the rest of their lifetime. .
While anyone can get sepsis from a bacterial or viral infection (including COVID-19), those most at risk are patients in intensive care or recovering from a procedure, people with weakened immune systems, chronic health conditions and the elderly.
Despite being a common cause of death in hospitals, sepsis is frequently underdiagnosed in the crucial early stages. And while educational campaigns to raise staff awareness and the development of hospital systems such as the ‘Sepsis Six Bundle’ have helped deliver prompt treatment, there is still scope for improvement. Continue reading