Sepsis: What You Need to Know

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

It is difficult to diagnose because it happens quickly and can be confused with other conditions.

Sepsis is a medical emergency and is deadly when it’s not quickly recognized and treated.

What can you do to prevent sepsis?

  • Get vaccinated against the flu, pneumonia and any other infections that could lead to sepsis. Talk to your doctor for more information.
  • Prevent infections that can spread sepsis by cleaning scrapes and wounds, and practicing good hygiene.
  • Know that time matters. If you have a severe infection, look for signs like: shivering, fever, or very cold, extreme pain or discomfort, clammy or sweaty skin, confusion or disorientation, short of breath, rapid breathing and high heart rate.

What should you do if you think you have sepsis? Seek medical treatment if you have signs of sepsis following an infection.

To learn more about sepsis, visit the CDC’s website.

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