Sepsis infection is a life-threatening disease caused due to bacteria or virus. Let us know what is the prognosis for this condition in this article.
Sepsis is infection of blood due to bacterial or viral contamination. It can be either caused due to presence of pathogens in the bloodstream or as a result of blood poisoning due to toxins secreted by these microorganisms. Sepsis is also known by an alternative name of Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS). Sepsis triggers an unusual response to the infection by the body. It leads to severe inflammation of the body, abnormal body temperature, increased heart rate and sometimes organ failure. Sepsis shock or severe sepsis infection has a very high mortality rate of 40% – 60%. Prognosis for this condition is widely dependent upon the severity of infection and the overall health of the patient.
Sepsis Infection Diagnosis and Treatment
Sepsis infection spreads through open cuts and wounds. It is common during surgeries or it can also enter intravenously. Neonatal sepsis infection due to Group B streptococcus bacteria is transmitted from mother to infant during childbirth. People with weaker immune systems or suffering from certain health problems are most susceptible to this infection. These includes cancer, AIDS, pneumonia patients. Elderly people are also prone to death due to sepsis as they often have other medical conditions which compromise their immune system. This infection is also common in newborns and children, as they have underdeveloped immune systems. It may often follow a bout of meningitis. In fact, meningitis patients form 25% of the total sepsis patients admitted in ICU.
Sepsis infection is characterized by unusual swelling of the entire body. Patient may suffer from very low or very high body temperature. The inflammation may also be accompanied by skin rash. Unusual rapid heart rate is also reported. Dizziness, joint pain, chills are some other symptoms of this disease. If any of these symptoms are found in people who have a strong likelihood of catching sepsis infection (such as those explained above), then further tests are recommended to ascertain the possibility of infection. Blood test to detect the number of white blood cells, kidney function test and culture analysis are some of the diagnostic procedures recommended for this infection. The treatment can be suggested accordingly.
The first step of treatment is an antibiotic course, which may be given intravenously. The patient is also given saline solution intravenously to increase his blood pressure. Steps are taken to avoid any possibility of organ failure. For people with a damaged or under performing organ, mechanical techniques such as ventilators, dialysis are suggested. Some people may have to undergo a pus drainage procedure.
Sepsis Infection Prognosis
Survival is mostly dependent upon the severity of infection and the presence of underlying medical illness. An existing illness often complicates the infection, thereby leading to lower survival chances. People with no signs of organ failure at the time of sepsis have about 15% – 30% mortality rate. This rate shoots to 40% – 60% with existing medical illness and/or signs of organ failure. Infants and children have about 9% – 36% chances of death due to sepsis. Survival rates are highest amongst healthy individuals who have no underlying medical condition that might complicate sepsis infection. People with sepsis shock may sometimes have to forgo a limb due to severe infection.
Now that you know the risk groups for sepsis infection, you should take special care to avoid the infection, if you fall in any of the risk groups. Vaccinations, good hygiene practice, go a long way in preventing this infection. In case you are diagnosed with sepsis, treatment must be sought immediately. Prompt treatment alleviates any possibility of organ failure, thereby improving your survival chances.