Sepsis Awareness Takes T.I.M.E.

Sepsis Awareness Takes T.I.M.E.
Since 2011, the Sepsis Alliance has recognized September as Sepsis Awareness Month. Sepsis occurs when an existing infection triggers an extreme chemical response in the body. When this happens, the body attacks itself instead of the source of infection. Sepsis ranges from mild to severe, with septic shock being the most life-threatening. The Sepsis Alliance uses the acronym "TIME" to help people recognize common symptoms. The first two letters represent temperature and infection. While a fever usually indicates an infection, a lower body temperature can be a sign of sepsis. A person may also exhibit chills, shivering, and sweaty or clammy skin. Someone experiencing mental decline (M) and extremely ill feelings (E) of pain or discomfort along with abnormal body temperature and infection should seek immediate medical treatment for severe sepsis. A patient with severe sepsis may become easily confused or disoriented. Extreme fatigue and sleepiness are also warning signs. A low blood pressure, especially a systolic pressure less than 100, can lead to blood clots, organ failure, and tissue death. If the systolic pressure drops below 65, the patient can go into septic shock. Other indicators include a rapid resting heart rate or pulse above 90 beats per minute and a respiratory rate of more than 22 breaths per minute. A septic patient will be admitted to a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). The medical team will treat the patient with various antibiotics to combat the infection along with intravenous fluids and vasopressors to increase blood pressure. Depending on the cause of infection and resulting complications, the patient might need surgery, other medications, and supportive care. Who is at risk? Anyone with an infection can be at risk for sepsis. Cer
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