What is Sepsis?
Sepsis also known as the Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is a life threatening condition. This is a bacterial infection, infecting the blood stream of the patient. The infections are caused by microorganisms in the body and these micro-organisms are toxin producing. These micro-organisms can originate at any place in the body, the most common origination points are the kidneys, the liver, the gall bladder, the skin, the lungs and the bowls.
What Causes Sepsis?
Bacterial infections in the body cause Sepsis. The infections enter the body through either open wounds and manifest itself in the kidneys, the liver, the gall bladder, or the lungs. In the kidneys it is found in the upper urinary tract. In children due to their immune system not being fully developed they Sepsis may often result in Osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. Hospitalized are likely to get the infection either through surgical wounds or open IV lines. The most common form is being bed sores or ulcers as a result of long rest.
Other causes of Sepsis are pneumonia, burns, cancers and AIDS. Most of these are internal infections other than the ones mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
How is Sepsis Diagnosed?
Sepsis infection in a human body can be diagnosed by a simple blood test that can be used to check the white blood count. The WBC content may be abnormally high or low. The platelets count may also be low. The blood culture tests positive for a bacterial infection. A test of the function of the kidneys also revel an abnormality in the early stages of the disease.
A PAP smear test in women also shows abnormality. This is either indicative by a low platelet count or there may be a destruction of the red blood cells.
Symptoms of Sepsis
Some of the most common symptoms of the infection are: high or low body temperatures that cannot be explained, a drop in blood pressure, chills, rapid heart beat, low urine output, mentally un-stable state like deliriums.
Complications as a result of Sepsis are Septic shock, and failure to supply blood to some vital organs of the body like the kidneys, lungs, liver, and the central nervous system. This may result in abnormal functioning of the said organs.
Sepsis Treatment Options
Sepsis when properly diagnosed at an early stage can be treated. This provided one knows from where the infection has originated. If the infection has originated from the kidneys (Urinary tract), treatment is aimed at reducing the infection there by providing one with antibiotics and letting the body’s immune system take over. For patients suffering from AIDS, the treatment is a more risky factor as the full course of treatment is to be given by medication and intravenously. This at times may result in further complications.
Who is at Risk for Developing Sepsis?
There are no limits as to who can develop Sepsis. It can be the young or the old, the sick or the hale and hearty. However, people more prone to Sepsis are people who are exposed to injuries, wounds, people who have suffered burn injuries, or bullet wounds.
People with AIDS are more at a risk of developing Sepsis. People who are recovering from an injury and are in a hospitalized condition are also likely to be afflicted by Sepsis through IV tubes, open wounds and the likes.