Can anyone get sepsis? Yes. Anyone can get sepsis, or become septic, but people with weakened immune systems, children, infants and the elderly are most vulnerable.
Is Sepsis uncommon? No. Sepsis is actually very common; however, most of the time if someone dies due to Sepsis, the cause of death is due to something more common such as Pneumonia. In its early stages, symptoms of Sepsis can often mimic other conditions, such as the flu, and may be somewhat difficult to diagnose.
If Sepsis is such a serious condition, why have I never heard of sepsis before? Sepsis isn’t talked about very often. The word Sepsis is a technical, medical term used mostly by medical providers. Many people hear of others dying from infections, such as those associated with “super bugs” such as MRSA. Often this is actually Sepsis because the organisms, or germs, associated with the cause of infection (MRSA) are unable to be treated timely &/or appropriately. If the infection isn’t treated properly, it may take over the body causing severe organ failure and eventually death.
What is the difference between Sepsis and Septic Shock? Sepsis is the beginning of the condition, which can lead to severe sepsis and/or septic shock. It is a response to an inflammatory response in your body caused by an infection, most often bacterial. Septic shock develops after sepsis has progressed beyond severe sepsis and the body’s organs begin to shut down.
Can Sepsis be prevented? Sepsis often occurs as a result of an infection, whether bacterial, viral or fungal, so by treating the infection timely and appropriately, you decrease your chances of developing Sepsis. To reduce your risk of developing Sepsis you should first reduce your risk of developing an infection by washing your hands, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding others who are sick, and seeking medical advice for an injury or illness that does not seem to be improving appropriately.