Sepsis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • Sepsis is a serious condition that occurs when the body responds to an infection. It is also called systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Infection in sepsis is usually caused by bacteria (germs) that attack the body. Normally, the body's defense system fights off infection within the affected body part.

  • With sepsis, the body overreacts causing symptoms such as fever, fast or irregular heartbeat, fast or troubled breathing, and low blood pressure. Sepsis can lead to an uncontrolled and widespread inflammation (swelling) and blood clotting. Blood flow to different body parts is then decreased, and may lead to organ failure (loss of function). Sepsis often requires immediate treatment such as medicines and even surgery to ensure recovery.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Avoid the spread of germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Carry germ-killing gel with you. You can use the gel to clean your hands when there is no soap and water available.

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have washed your hands first.

  • Always cover your mouth when you cough. Cough into a tissue or your shirtsleeve so you do not spread germs from your hands.

  • Try to avoid people who have a cold or the flu. If you are sick, stay away from others as much as possible.

CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • You are lightheaded or dizzy, sweaty, or nauseated (upset stomach) after you take your medicine.

  • You have increased swelling in your legs, feet, or abdomen (stomach).

  • You are coughing hard and bring up blood colored liquid.

  • You have questions or concerns about your illness, medicine, or care.

SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:

  • You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.

  • You have a fast heart beat and your chest hurts.

  • You feel so dizzy that you have trouble standing up.

  • Your lips or fingernails are blue in color.

Copyright © 2012. Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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