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Sepsis Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Sepsis is a condition in which bacteria and microorganisms that have penetrated into blood vessels in various forms multiply and cause a serious inflammatory reaction throughout the body. When the body temperature rises above 38 °C or falls below 36 °C repeatedly, and when there are two or more symptoms such as an increase or decrease in the number of white blood cells while the respiratory rate increases to 24 or more per minute It is called systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and when this systemic inflammatory response syndrome is an infection caused by microorganisms or viruses, sepsis is diagnosed.

The main cause of sepsis is infection by various bacteria and various viruses such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Gram-negative bacteria, and Klebsiella bacteria by all organs in the body. In addition, when various diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, pyelonephritis, peritonitis, cholecystitis, and cholangitis occur, the mechanism of action by which microorganisms penetrate into the blood can also be the main cause of sepsis. Now, let’s check in more detail about the main symptoms that appear when sepsis occurs and various information related to treatment.

Main symptoms of sepsis

When sepsis occurs, various defense mechanisms appear in our body by toxins. The main symptom that occurs at that time is that the heart beats faster and at the same time the respiratory function is rapidly lowered, which can cause breathing difficulties, and acute respiratory distress syndrome due to hypoxia can appear. In addition, symptoms of the digestive system such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and intestinal paralysis may develop, and when severe stressful situations overlap, digestive bleeding symptoms may also occur.

When the symptoms of sepsis worsen, urine output due to a drop in blood pressure, rapid changes in metabolism due to a drop in blood sugar, rash, bleeding, and a decrease in the amount of blood supplied to the extremities of the body may cause the skin to appear blue, or partial necrosis. Skin lesions may occur as a result. In addition, neurological dysfunction, such as delirium and loss of cognitive function, is one of the symptoms that occur when sepsis occurs.

The initial symptoms of sepsis are similar to colds, so it is easy to confuse them, and the treatment time is often delayed because the severity of the disease is not accurately recognized. If treatment is delayed even after the onset of the disease, the causative bacteria and inflammatory reaction will spread to all organs through the blood. will cause it.

In addition, severe sepsis caused by damage to major organs increases the risk of developing septic shock, which can lead to life-threatening fatal outcomes. Sepsis cannot be self-treated, and as it is a disease with a high risk of death within a short period of time after onset, it is most important to receive treatment through a prompt visit if symptoms appear.

How sepsis is diagnosed and treated

1. Recognize early symptoms quickly

If sepsis develops symptoms at an early stage and is treated promptly within about 6 hours, the survival rate can be greatly increased. The body temperature, which corresponds to the initial symptoms, rises to 38 °C or falls below 36 °C, the pulse beats more than 90 beats per minute, or the breathing becomes rapid more than 20 beats per minute, the clear mind becomes dazed and the reaction to stimulation If various symptoms such as no symptoms occur, sepsis may be suspected, so it is necessary to proceed with treatment through a visit to the hospital as soon as possible.

2. Prompt diagnosis, examination and treatment

In case of symptoms of sepsis, blood tests, urine tests, and culture tests are performed to confirm the increase in acute inflammatory substances and the increase and decrease in the number of white blood cells. And if there are other areas suspected of being infected, additional tests will be conducted separately and the confirmation process will be more thorough. Antibiotics and antifungal drugs are used to start treatment according to the results of these tests. Treatment with antibiotics usually takes 1 to 3 weeks depending on the type of causative bacteria and the presence or absence of meningitis. And if it is caused by resistant bacteria, treatment is carried out considering isolation treatment.

Intensive treatment in the intensive care unit can be performed when the patient’s breathing and blood pressure are unstable, or when multiple organ failure due to systemic inflammation worsens. In addition, depending on the blood pressure condition, fluid therapy and ventilator treatment are provided if lung function is impaired, and treatment such as hemodialysis can be performed depending on the extent of kidney damage. Sepsis is often cured if appropriate conservative treatment is received in the early stages of the disease. there is.

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