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  • The Importance of Mentioning Sepsis

     The Importance of Mentioning SepsisIn the aftermath of Patty Duke’s death, a well-known actress, awareness of what sepsis truly is has increased. Although many people believe that sepsis is simply a complication that occurs after a surgical procedure or an infection, it is in fact a condition all on its own.

    Sepsis is the body’s response after an infection that can lead to full organ failure, as well as the build-up of harmful bacteria and toxins throughout your system. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited that annually 258,000 Americans die from sepsis.

    The Sepsis Alliance partnership conducted a study and found that over 50% of people have never heard of sepsis. So, while Patty Duke’s death is tragic, the number of people who know what sepsis is has gone up greatly ever since the news of her passing came to light.

    According to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, sepsis was the direct reason for more than 1.5 million patients being hospitalized in 2009 alone. Not only is sepsis a leading reason for hospitalization, but it is also quite a costly one. In 2009 the same report shows that nearly $15.5 billion dollars in hospital costs were due to cases of sepsis.

    Sepsis and typical infections can be very similar in terms of symptoms, so for doctors it can be difficult to diagnose. There are many factors that can increase the risks for sepsis, such as a history of pneumonia, organ dysfunction, abnormal white blood cell counts and more. However, what may be most important is simple awareness and knowing what sepsis is, while citing it as a concern to your medical provider.

    The chances of surviving sepsis decrease with each hour that it goes undiagnosed. So, to aid in that fight, the CDC recommends that people familiarize themselves with an acronym they created:

    S — Shivering, fever, or feeling very cold
    E — Extreme pain or general discomfort, as in “worst ever”
    P — Pale or discolored skin
    S — Sleepy, difficult to wake up or confused
    I — ”I feel like I might die”
    S — Shortness of breath

    To see more from the CDC on sepsis survival, you can click here.

    This article is for informational purposes only. Should you have any medical questions or concerns, we remind you to contact your healthcare provider directly.

    Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP

    The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Galfand Berger can help answer your questions. If you or any of your loved ones have experienced a situation and you’d like to contact a lawyer, we here at Galfand Berger, LLP can help. With offices located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)