Under normal conditions, it is normal and necessary for the body to develop an immune response to bacteria that enter the blood. But when this response is much stronger than it should be in some cases, it can damage organs and tissues. In severe cases of sepsis, inflammation occurs throughout the body and a picture called septic shock may occur. This condition also entails a serious drop in blood pressure and can lead to death. Many infections can result in sepsis. In order to prevent this, the necessary antibiotic treatments and intravenous fluid applications should be performed in a timely manner. People with a weakened immune system, pregnant women, children under the age of 1, and adults over the age of 60 are very likely to develop sepsis compared to other individuals.
What are the symptoms of sepsis?
In severe infections, the symptoms of sepsis may not be very clear. Therefore, it is possible that sepsis can be confused with different symptoms that appear depending on the infection. Any type of infection, diagnosed or undiagnosed, presents the possibility for the development of a sepsis picture. The most common symptoms of sepsis, which has three different stages in the form of sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock, are:
* Fever above 38 degrees
* Heart rate above 90 beats per minute
* Respiratory rate above 20 breaths per minute
* Chills, chills and shivering
* Shortness of breath
In case of the above symptoms, patients who have any infection or suspected infection in their body should definitely contact the emergency clinics of hospitals. With the failure to control sepsis, a severe sepsis picture develops, which is the second stage. Common symptoms that occur with it are:
* Decreased urination, burning and feeling of pain when urinating
* Pale colored, discolored or mottled skin appearance
* Clouding of mind and decrease in cognitive functions
* Low platelet levels in the blood
* Impaired respiratory function and shortness of breath
* Disruption of the heart rhythm
* Decreased body temperature (hypothermia)
* Extreme weight loss
In the case of septic shock, which is the last stage of sepsis, in addition to the above symptoms, there is an abnormal decrease in blood pressure and an increase in the level of lactic acid in the blood. At this stage, the formation of organ failures becomes inevitable.
What are the causes of sepsis?
Many types of infections can play a role in the occurrence of sepsis. The most common of these are urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, pneumonia, intra-abdominal infections, meningitis, wounds and burns, meningitis and skin infections. The likelihood of developing sepsis is much higher, especially in older individuals. Wounds that form on the body after surgical operations are among the risk factors of sepsis. Decapitation is a serious complication of sepsis. In addition, the unnecessary use of antibiotics, the development of resistance of bacteria to antibiotics due to reasons such as discontinuation of antibiotics, increases the risk of developing sepsis, as it is an obstacle to controlling infections. Immunosuppressive drugs used to treat certain diseases or in cases such as organ transplantation in order for the body to accept the transplanted organ also weaken the immune system, making it easier for infections to lead to sepsis. children under the age of 1, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases and elderly people are at risk of sepsis, and these individuals should immediately contact a health facility and take the necessary diagnostic tests, taking into account even the smallest infections.
How is sepsis diagnosed?
The presence of several of the above-mentioned symptoms of sepsis at once indicates that sepsis should be suspected. In individuals who apply to health institutions with these symptoms, a number of diagnostic tests are requested by the physician after taking a detailed history of the patient and performing physical examinations. The first and most important of these are blood tests. It is investigated whether there are signs of infection and infection in the blood. In addition, coagulation problems, the amount of oxygen, liver and kidney function, water and electrolyte levels, and blood pH are evaluated by blood tests. After evaluating the symptoms and blood findings seen in the patient together, further examinations may also need to be performed if deemed necessary by the physician. A urine test can be used to examine bacteria in the urine, wound and mucus secretion tests can be used to investigate infectious agents. Wasn't enough of them, in cases where the lungs for viewing X-rays for the investigation of infections in internal organs such as computed tomography (CT) infection in organs such as the gall bladder and ovaries for the display of ultrasound to examine soft tissue infections, magnetic resonance (MR) applications can be used. As a result of the tests performed, it can be determined at what stage the disease is by determining how and at what level the symptoms are in patients diagnosed with sepsis. As a result of the findings obtained, the treatment process should be planned immediately and the necessary applications should be started as soon as possible in order to preserve the organ functions.
How is sepsis treated?
If sepsis is not detected at an early stage and therefore cannot be treated, a picture of septic shock may occur and the disease may result in death. In order to prevent the disease from reaching this stage, patients who apply to clinics with symptoms of sepsis and are diagnosed with sepsis are usually treated with the following medications for treatment:
* Vasoactive drugs that help raise low blood pressure
* Antibiotics administered intravenously to help prevent infection
* Corticosteroid drugs
* Insulin injections that regulate blood sugar
In addition to the use of the above medications, intravenous fluid support may be required in case of severe sepsis. If shortness of breath and breathing difficulties are at a level that reduces oxygenation, the patient should be connected to a respirator. If kidney function is affected due to sepsis, harmful wastes, excess water and salt in the blood cannot be removed from the body and will accumulate in the blood. In order to prevent this, in cases where renal insufficiency develops, the patient should undergo dialysis at intervals recommended by the physician. If the infection that causes sepsis is caused by an abscess containing inflammation, this condition that leads to the disease is eliminated with the help of surgical operations or drainage applications. Patients should be hospitalized in intensive care units during the treatment process and should be kept under constant control. After controlling the disease and eliminating the symptoms associated with the infection, patients should be kept under observation for a certain period of time. The treatment process to be applied for the damages caused in the organs and tissues is planned separately by the doctor.
Since sepsis is a very serious health problem and can be life-threatening, the necessary precautions should be taken to minimize the likelihood of this picture occurring. For this, no infection should be taken lightly, treatment should be started in accordance with the recommendations given by necessarily undergoing timely examination. If you also have symptoms of the presence of any infection in your body, your symptoms related to the infection are getting heavier day by day, and if you are experiencing some of the symptoms of sepsis mentioned above, you should contact a health care provider immediately, focusing on the possibility of sepsis. It should be noted that if sepsis is detected at an early stage and treatment is started immediately, the occurrence of organ failure can be prevented and life threats can be eliminated.