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How to survive and prevent sepsis

Sepsis cards for hospital ID badges
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"It was just a cut," explain parents in the video above of Rory
Staunton, their 12-year old who skidded while playing
basketball in gym class and got a seemingly innocent cut on his
elbow. Later that night he was throwing up and had a fever of
104ºF. Medical staff evaluated Rory and dismissed his condition
as an ordinary flu bug, in reality it was something much more
sinister than a stomach virus. In Rory's case, he had suspicious
blue marks on his body, a racing pulse, low blood pressure and
other warning signs, including a leg that was hurting, though it
was his elbow that received a scrape in gym class.
Unfortunately, medical staff overlooked them all, parents were
unaware, like most people are, about Sepsis. Very shortly
thereafter Rory died. The symptoms were telltale signs and yet
this tragedy could have been prevented.

This story underscores that a simple cut can lead to tragedy. It
also stresses the important role you can take as a prepper to
prevent Sepsis from happening to your loved ones.  If you can
help recognize the symptoms, then you can begin to help
identify Sepsis to improve survival chances. Learn the
symptoms so you can take action.

#2: Understand Sepsis and recognize the symptoms.
In preventing this life-threatening illness, you must first know
what it is. Sepsis happens to an individual when chemicals
release into the bloodstream to fight an infection then trigger
inflammation throughout the body. This is the catalyst to
damage of multiple organs and leading them to fail. Septic
shock is a medical emergency and can lead to death. It begins
in three phases:

There are more than a million cases of Sepsis annually in the
United States.

Symptoms of Sepsis may include:
  • infection
  • breathing difficulties / hyperventilation:
  • Respiratory rate more than 20 breaths per minute
  • diarrhea, sore throat and vomiting
  • extreme weakness
  • fast heart rate of more than 90 beats a minute
  • fever of more than 101ºF  
  • Chills (Hypothermiea - core temperaeture is less than 96.8
  • low blood pressure
  • mental confusion
  • Medical professionals may also be able to recognize:
  • Leukocytosis (leukocyte count more than 12,000 cells per
  • Leukopenia (leukocyte count less than 4,000 cells per mm3)

Centers for Disease Control have developed a mnemonic for
Sepsis to help evaluate and remind us all that "there is no
single sign or symptom of sepsis.":
    S—Shivering, fever, or very cold
    E—Extreme pain or general discomfort ("worst ever")
    P—Pale or discolored skin
    S—Sleepy, difficult to rouse, confused
    I—"I feel like I might die"
    S—Short of breath

#3: Know that every minute counts!
If you suspect Sepsis, know that every minute counts in getting
prompt medical attention. If an emergency room is available, go
immediately for treatment because Sepsis is treatable. Don't
leave and be content with an IV of fluids. Be persistent in your
suspicion of Sepsis and have the staff work promptly with the
labs for the proper diagnosis.

Treatment for Sepsis may include:
  • High flow oxygen (via non-rebreather mask)
  • Blood cultures
  • IV antibiotics
  • IV fluid resuscitation
  • Hemoglobin and lactate monitoring hourly
  • urine output accurately

#4: Be aware of the people most at risk.
Take preemptive care to know the triggers and people most
possibly affected by Sepsis. For example, take extra care if
you've ever had pneumonia and take immediate action if you
suspect an infection or can confirm infection (even a minor one).

Be aware of the triggers of Sepsis include:
  • abdominal infection
  • bloodstream infection
  • kidney infection
  • pneumonia

Keep a watchful eye of symptoms in seniors.
Sepsis can happen to anyone, but it is more common in seniors
as they have a weakened immune system.

Know the risk factors of people with weakened immune
People also at risk for sepsis include those who have a weaker
immune systems,  including people who have HIV or who are
undergoing chemotherapy. In this group also include babies and
children who are developing their immune systems.

Be mindful about Sepsis and take immediate action to get
medical help.

#5: If you have medical training, get the Sepsis
reference cards.
The quickest way to reference acid-base values and
interpretation is with our Rapid ID cards. Designed to be carried
behind your hospital or clinic ID, this card makes ABG
interpretation simple and with its doubled sided design, SIRS
and Sepsis definitions are at your fingertips. Our Rapid ID cards
are made of strong plastic that will last as long as you want to
carry it and slotted to fit your ID badge.
Warning signs of Sepsis
How to survive and prevent Sepsis, a bacterial infection...

It was just a cut: famous last words.
One innocent cut, scrape or burn could lead to a Sepsis, a
potentially deadly bacterial infection. Sepsis is a blood
poisoning of sorts and this dangerous condition can happen
because of a cut! Sepsis is an extreme response to an infection
of just about any kind, and this illness can lead to death.

Sepsis kills more people than cancer in the United States
annually, is more common than a heart attack, and yet most
have hardly ever heard of it. Educate yourself and others in the
prevention of Sepsis. Your quick action could possibly save the
life of a loved one, and if you recognize the symptoms in
yourself, you could take action and instruct others to get you
out of harms way and into the emergency room. Here's more on
how to prevent Sepsis...

How to Prevent Sepsis
Sepsis begins with an infection, such as a burn. This is why
ultimately to prevent Sepsis, you must be vigilant to help all
infections heal, especially
burns, cuts and scrapes. Below are
some basic steps to take to help you mitigate the risks of

#1: Always clean wounds.
Even a minor infection can lead to Sepsis, which is why
cleansing even a minor cut, scrape or burn is of utmost
importance in prevention of Sepsis.
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Is it Swine flu or Sepsis?
People often use the term “the flu” to describe a stomach bug
or food poisoning, but influenza actually is a respiratory illness.
There are many kinds of flu, ranging from seasonal influenza to
more serious conditions such as
H1N1 influenza (Swine flu),  or
avian flu (bird flu).

With the re-emergence of Swine flu, lay persons may have
trouble identifying the differences of Swine Flu and Sepsis.
Certainly the two diseases share some similarities including:
trouble breathing
discolored skin tone fever and
confusion  This is why it's important for a  quick and appropriate

Influenza has nothing to do with the gastrointestinal system
(the span from mouth to rectum). As a respiratory illness,
Influenza commonly includes coughing, runny nose, headache
high fever and muscle pains, though in children there may be
nausea and vomiting.

The thing is, Influenza can lead to viral pneumonia, or
secondary bacterial pneumonia and these things will put a
person at significant risk for Sepsis.

That is a significant thing to know: Sepsis can be a complication
of almost any kind of infection!

Many infections can cause Sepsis, including:
  • food poisoning
  • influenza
  • pneumonia
  • urinary tract infections

What more is there to know about Sepsis?
Interestingly, Dengue Fever and Ebola may also progress to
acute organ dysfunction and result in death from multiple organ
failure and septic shock. Here's more facts about Sepsis:

  • There are 1 million cases of Sepsis each year in the
    United States according to the Centers for Disease Control

  • 9.3% of all deaths in the united States are from Sepsis.
    (Source ~ Course #94341 Sepstis: Diagnosis and
    Treatment by Patricia Lea, RN, MSEd, CCRN, and John M.
    Leondrd, M.D.):
  • Sepsis kills more than 258,000 Americans annually,
    according to the CDC.
  • Sepsis kills more people than cancer in the United
    States annually.
  • Sepsis is more common than a heart attack.
  • Half of all hospital deaths are from Sepsis.

Finally, it's good to know that are some natural ways to combat
sepsis. Anise essential oil can give wounds an effective
protective layer against infections and sepsis.

Happy endings...
While diagnosis requires lab testing, the good and happy news
is that Sepsis is treatable by a medical professional. Treatment
antibiotics and intravenous fluids. You can help prevent
Sepsis by spreading the word about Sepsis. Every
September 13
is World Sepsis Day. One day a year, you can be an ambassador
for education of Sepsis. Only with your help in recognizing the
symptoms can you help prevent the most common pathway to
death following an infection.

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* Medicine(s) in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any
disease. For any health or dietary matter, always consult your physician. This information is
intended for general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice
or treatment for specific medical conditions. Never disregard or delay in seeking medical
advice when available.  

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