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: rmann1966, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 09

I woke up on Sunday January 6 2013 with pains in my left side, lower abs. I knew something was wrong, and had my wife take me to the walk in clinic, well they said it wasn't anything. By the time we got home from the ER I was in so much pain, my wife drove me to the Hospital ER, I was immed taken in for testing, at that time I had chest pains as well. I was given a chest xray and was found to have double pneumonia. They found something in my blood that didn't look right, so they had ordered more testing. I was admitted that day and by Tuesday morning, they put me out for 7 days because I was in so much pain. I was diagnosed with double pneumonia along with sepsis. The dr's didn't give my wife much hope for me. They kept telling her that I'm a very sick man. I was in ICU for 7 or 8 days and I was in the hospital for 15 days. At any given time i was on about 6 or 7 IV's. The only time that I had slept was when they had to put me out because of the pain, I left for 7 days straight. After that I would get 1 to 2 hrs a night, that's even with sleeping medication, nothing they gave me made me sleep. I'm very lucky to be here today. I should not have made it out of that hospital. By the time I left the hospital all of the nurses knew who I was. LOL I hope not to have to go thru that again. SEPSIS is very bad, and it drains the life out of you, it drains your family and friends emotionally. The not knowing of what will happen is terrible.

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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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