Friday, October 16, 2009

Sepsis is a severe illness caused by overwhelming infection of the bloodstream by toxin-producing bacteria. Sepsis is often life-threatening, especially in people with a weakened immune system or other medical illnesses. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about sepsis in the 60 Second Housecall.

Sepsis is a broad term that describes the syndrome of the body trying to fight a potentially serious infection.

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness. Your immune system goes into overdrive, overwhelming normal processes in your blood which can lead to organ failure.

A patient with sepsis will often have fever. Sometimes, though, the body temperature may be normal or even low.

The patient may also have chills and severe shaking.

The patientís heart may be beating very fast and breathing rapidly.

Confusion, disorientation and agitation may be seen, as well as dizziness and decreased urination.

Some patients who have sepsis develop a rash on their skin.

They may also develop pain in the joints.

Sepsis is usually treated in a hospital intensive care unit. Intravenous antibiotics and fluids may be given to try to knock out the infection and to keep blood pressure from dropping too low. Patients may also need respirators to help them breathe.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.