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- Patient Comments: Sepsis - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Sepsis - Experience
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- Patient Comments: Sepsis - Treatment
- Sepsis (blood poisoning) facts
- What is blood poisoning?
- What is sepsis?
- What are the stages of sepsis?
- Why are there so many diseases with "sepsis," "septic," "septicemia," or "blood poisoning" in their name?
- What causes sepsis?
- Is sepsis contagious? How long is the incubation and/or contagious period for sepsis?
- What are the risk factors for sepsis?
- What are sepsis (blood poisoning) symptoms and signs?
- How do health care professionals diagnose sepsis?
- What is the treatment for sepsis?
- What types of health care professionals specialize in the treatment of sepsis?
- What is the prognosis with sepsis?
- What are the complications of sepsis?
- Is it possible to prevent sepsis (blood poisoning)?
- What are some additional sources for information on sepsis (blood poisoning)?
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What types of health care professionals specialize in the treatment of sepsis?
Often, the first health care professionals to treat the patient with sepsis are the patient's primary care physician or pediatrician, often immediately followed by a specialist in emergency medicine. Almost all patients diagnosed with sepsis are treated in the hospital; there are no home remedies for sepsis. Hospitalists, critical care medicine physicians, and pulmonary specialists, infectious disease specialists, and occasionally a toxicologist or a surgeon may need to be consulted, depending upon the patient's condition and underlying medical cause of the sepsis.
What is the prognosis with sepsis?
The prognosis of patients with sepsis is related to the severity or stage of sepsis as well as to the underlying health status of the patient. For example, patients with sepsis and no ongoing sign of organ failure at the time of diagnosis have about a 15%-30% chance of death. Patients with severe sepsis or septic shock have a mortality (death) rate of about 40%-60%, with the elderly having the highest mortality rates. Newborns and pediatric patients with sepsis have about a 9%-36% mortality rate. Investigators have developed a scoring system (MEDS score) based on the patient's symptoms to estimate prognosis.
What are the complications of sepsis?
There are a large number of complications that may occur with sepsis. The complications are related to the type of initial infection (for example, in lung infection [pneumonia] with sepsis, a potential complication could be a need for respiratory support) and the severity of sepsis (for example, septic shock related to a limb infection that could require limb amputation). Consequently, each patient is likely to have the potential for complications related to the source of sepsis; in general, the complications are due to organ dysfunction, damage, or loss. Death is usually due to multiorgan dysfunction (liver, kidney, or lung failure).
Physicians agree that the faster the patient with sepsis is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis and fewer complications, if any, for the patient.