When germs get into a person’s body, they can cause an infection. If that infection isn’t stopped, it can cause sepsis. Sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, amputations and death if it's not treated in time.
Anyone can get sepsis. People with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease are at higher risk of developing infections that can lead to sepsis. Sepsis is most common in:
- Adults 65 or older
- People with weakened immune systems
- Children younger than one
Know the Signs
Sepsis is a medical emergency but it can be confused with other illnesses. Symptoms may include:
- fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold
- extreme tiredness
- shortness of breath
- unexplained pain
- feeling worse than you've ever felt before
Act in Time
80 percent of sepsis deaths could be prevented with fast treatment. Get medical care immediately if you suspect sepsis.
If you are feeling worse or not getting better in the days after surgery, ask the doctor, “Could this be sepsis?” If you have an infection that is not getting better or is getting worse, check with a doctor.
Be Sepsis Smart
Take good care of chronic conditions and get recommended vaccines to help prevent infections. Practice good hygiene, such as handwashing, and keeping cuts clean and covered until healed.
You can help save a life by being sepsis smart. Print out these materials and post the social media graphics with the hashtag #SepsisSmart to help us raise awareness. Click the images below to download the materials.