Septic shock is the term which is applied to the condition where transportation of nutrition laden arterial blood to the capillary bed of a biological tissue comes to a standstill and results in reduced delivery of oxygen. It is usually brought on by some infection, infectious disease or an instance of sepsis. It usually takes its worst form in children, elderly persons and already sick individuals - precisely, people with weak immune system or low immune defense become easy victims of this condition. Let's take a quick look at the various causes and symptoms of this condition before moving on to the recovery part.
Once diagnosis has identified the condition as septic shock and the source of infection has been established, treatment is imparted accordingly. At this juncture, the question that arises is how long? After treatment has been initiated, complete recovery may take a couple to several months, depending upon the severity of the infection and the diligence observed in treating the condition. The earliest the treatment is started, the lesser the recovery time. However, in cases where organ damage has taken place, it can take the patient about several months to a couple of years to fully recover.
Most of the time, the organs which face the threat of damage from septic shock are the pancreas, kidneys, the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Since these are vital organs, any damage therein or any instance of organ shut down can have damaging effect upon the overall health and immunity of the patient and an adverse effect on any of these organs further lowers the patient's immune defense. Therefore, recovery time for sepsis is heavily dependent upon the extent of damage that has been caused to these vital organs as a result of septic shock.
Sepsis is caused by the invasion of the bloodstream by malefic microorganisms, usually bacteria. This leads to bacteremia which can ultimately result in the development of a more severe condition known as Systemic Inflammation Response Syndrome (SIRS) if the invading bacteria are intensely noxious or if the immune system of the victim is compromised. A combination of bacteremia and SIRS might lead to sepsis, ultimately resulting in complete septic shock. Individuals suffering from AIDS, diabetes, cellulitis, cancer, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and other immune system diseases are most susceptible to sepsis as their immune systems are weakened owing to their primary ailments.
Symptoms and Treatment
Following are the various symptoms that may be exhibited by the victim of this medical condition:-
- Joint Pain
- Decrease or absence of urination
- Confused and disoriented state of mind
- Fever and chills
- Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Flushing of the skin
- Rashes or skin spots
- Decrease in body temperature of the extremities
Due to obstruction in the delivery of oxygen throughout the body via blood, the skin may turn bluish and the overall body temperature may fall below normal as a result of interrupted metabolism. Treatment of this condition may include airway support and administration of oxygen to provide symptomatic relief. Antibiotics are administered to counter the ill effects brought on by the bacteria in the bloodstream. In case of organ dysfunction brought about by sepsis, organ support may be required.
In order to accelerate the rate of recovery, it is necessary to undergo diagnosis and commence treatment as early as possible before the infection spreads its ominous shadow over the body's vital organs. Taking even small bacterial infections seriously and not letting minor wounds or lacerations go unnoticed or unattended is the best way to prevent an instance of septic shock. After all, going through all that pain, distress and trepidation for something which can be prevented by just being a little careful is just not worth it.