Sepsis - Treatment

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What was the treatment for your sepsis?

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How is sepsis (blood poisoning) treated?

In almost every case of sepsis, patients need to be hospitalized, treated with appropriate intravenous antibiotics, and given therapy to support any organ dysfunction. Sepsis can quickly cause organ damage and death; therapy should not be delayed as statistics suggest as high as a 7% mortality increase per hour if antibiotics are delayed in severe sepsis. Most cases of sepsis are treated in an intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital.

Appropriate antibiotics to treat sepsis are combinations of two or three antibiotics given at the same time; most combinations usually include vancomycin to treat many MRSA infections. However, once the infecting organism is isolated, labs can determine which antibiotics are most effective against the organisms, and those antibiotics should be used to treat the patient. In addition to antibiotics, two other major therapeutic interventions, organ-system support and surgery, may be needed. First, if an organ system needs support, the intensive care unit can often provide it (for example, intubation to support lung function or dialysis to support kidney function). Secondly, surgery may be needed to drain or remove the source of infection. Amputation of extremities has been done to save some patients' lives.

A recent research report may alter a common treatment for septic shock. Because of the low blood pressure seen with septic shock, IV fluid boluses have been used to support the patient's blood pressure. However, a 2011 study in over 3,000 children in Africa with impaired perfusion (shock) the fluid bolus treatments actually increased mortality in the children. This surprising result has raised questions about how clinicians can best manage septic shock in the future. For example, in 2004, guidelines were published that "bundled" therapeutic methods (for example, blood cultures, antibiotic therapy, and fluid therapy) to treat sepsis in an initial six-hour period that included fluid boluses. This septic treatment bundle of techniques may need revision or reexamination.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: RacerGirlSan13, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I had 3 bouts with sepsis. I flat lined/died 3 times. I shouldn't be here and am thankful every day that I am. I was down to 97 pounds, I had no clue I had it. I got up to go to work, got in the shower, by the time I got out I couldn't stand straight up and had a killer pain in my belly. I drove to the emergency room. I don't remember driving, all I know is I woke up 2 weeks later with a doctor looking at me. I had IV's, pick lines, renal shutdown, blood clots, warfarin forever, more tubes and bags than in my car! I also got MRSA - lovely. I was in the ICU for those 2 weeks, it all stemmed from years of severe malnutrition. I had bariatric surgery which has since been revised, years ago, hence the malnutrition. Nineteen surgeries later I still have some issues where he had to rebuild my side/stomach from a jejunostomy. Please, if you feel anything get it checked out better to be safe than sorry.

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Comment from: Jenniferliz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 28

A friend that was a care giver used a home remedy on me and wrapped raw bacon on the entire area of sepsis from both points of the red streak (end to end) and wrapped it in cloth. When I received treatment at the hospital I was prescribed cephalexin.

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