The signs of sepsis occur due to a microbial infection in the body that spreads via the bloodstream. Although it is commonly called blood poisoning, sepsis has nothing to do with poison. This medical condition can occur due to an infection (bacterial, viral, or fungal) in the body due to an injury, or disease that is spread in the body through the bloodstream. The occurrence of bacterial infection in blood is more prevalent in people with a weak immune system. The elderly, HIV/Cancer patients, children, and those undergoing treatment for diseases are more susceptible to sepsis.
Depending on individual health and the part of the body affected by the bacterial infection, sepsis gives rise to different types of symptoms. The signs of blood poisoning might vary significantly, depending on the age of the person. Children or the elderly might have a weaker immune system, which might make them vulnerable to infections. Symptoms appear as their body fights against the disease-causing agent. Some of the most common signs of neonatal sepsis are fever, weakness or inability to suck breast milk, jaundice, poor heart rate, apnea, and respiratory problems in the infants. While consistent vomiting and diarrhea may hint towards numerous other diseases in infants, an unstable and prolonged body temperature could hint towards sepsis.
In adults, the symptoms are characterized by the presence of a high fever or unstable body temperature. Moreover, the presence of a bacterial infection can increase the risk of other infections or diseases. The immune response in sepsis plays an important role, and hence it is defined as a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), after serious microbial infection. SIRS gives rise to symptoms such as high fever, increased pulse and heart rate, etc.
Many patients encounter a scenario wherein rapid breathing leads to problems of mental confusion, anxiety, and reduced alertness. Rapid breathing can lower the blood pressure and increase restlessness in the patient. Some other prominent observations of sepsis are as follows:
- An increase or decrease in the white blood cell count
- Low platelet count in cases of adults and/or children
- Low blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased urination
Since sepsis is a condition that can prove to be deadly, it is essential to seek prompt medical help. Early diagnosis of sepsis is essential. The medical expert may carry out a number of tests like blood culture test, kidney function test, peripheral blood smear, and white blood count test to confirm sepsis. Consulting a medical expert in matters related to symptoms of sepsis and treatment is advisable to all those individuals who have been exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.