From: Salud (About Health)
PABLO PÉREZ MARTÍNEZ, JOSÉ MANUEL RAMOS RINCÓN,
ANA MAESTRE PEIRÓ
Sepsis is a reaction of the body to an infection caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and even fungi. When our defenses are not able to eliminate the infection by microorganisms or their toxins, we react by producing substances such as interleukins, which spread through the bloodstream, causing a generalized inflammatory reaction in the body to the infection.
Sepsis is a medical emergency and if not diagnosed and treated early, it can be life-threatening, leading to irreversible tissue damage, septic shock, and multiple organ failure.
This extreme reaction of the body to an infection especially affects vital organs such as the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, etc., which are damaged; this is what we know as sepsis. Therefore, sepsis is not a disease in itself, but arises when there is a poorly regulated response of the body to an infection that damages the person’s own tissues and organs and threatens the person’s life.
If there is no timely intervention and there is significant damage to multiple organs so that they stop functioning, the patient’s life is in danger. We call this critical phase septic shock.
The symptoms of sepsis may initially go unnoticed or are mistaken for those of a normal infection. That is why we must be very vigilant in people susceptible to developing this complication (the elderly, diabetics, immunosuppressed patients or people with serious chronic pathologies).
The most common infections that trigger sepsis are:
- Respiratory tract infections.
- Gastrointestinal and biliary infections. Urinary tract infections.
Attention must be paid to certain signs and symptoms that should alert you to possible sepsis and that are a reason for urgent medical consultation. These are:
- A temperature above 38°C or below 36°C, accompanied by an increase in heart rate to more than 95 beats (or beats).
- Increased breathing rate to more than 24 breaths or shortness of breath.
Low blood pressure.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Decreased urine volume.
- Tendency to sleep, confused state, and altered consciousness, especially in older people.