Sepsis Treatment in Bristol, VA
What Is Sepsis Infection?
Sepsis can be a life-threatening medical condition that results when your body triggers a massive immune response to a serious, uncontrolled infection that enters into the blood. Also known as SIRS (systemic inflammatory response syndrome) or septicemia, sepsis usually involves severe inflammation that can result in organ failure, as well as symptoms like swelling, pain, redness and increased body temperature.
Because sepsis has potentially life-threatening ramifications, you should always consult a healthcare provider to identify your symptoms and provide immediate treatment. Schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare practitioner in Bristol who specializes in sepsis treatment. Call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
What Causes Sepsis?
Sepsis most often results from bacterial infections, but infections caused by a fungus, virus or parasite can also be at the root of the condition. Common infections that can be attributed as causes of sepsis include:
- Abdominal infection, including gallbladder, liver, abdominal cavity and bowels
- Lung infection or pneumonia
- Central nervous system infection, including the brain and spinal cord
- Skin infection
- Urinary tract infection, including infection in the bladder and kidneys
- Bloodstream infection, known as bacteremia
Sepsis Symptoms & Diagnosis
There are three types of sepsis, identified by the stage of the condition: sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock. Early sepsis symptoms include:
- Increased or decreased body temperature (above 101 F or below 96.8 F)
- Increased heart rate
- Increased respiratory rate
Severe sepsis usually includes at least two of the above symptoms and one or more of the following additional symptoms of septicemia:
- Breathing problems
- Abdominal pain
- Sudden changes in mental functioning
- Reduced urine output
- Low platelet count
- Abnormal heart function
- Organ failure
Septic shock—which has a 50 percent mortality rate—is usually identified by many of the above symptoms, combined with extremely low blood pressure that does not respond to treatment.
A sepsis diagnosis may require blood tests to check for infection, oxygen levels, abnormal clotting, liver, heart and kidney function. Your healthcare provider may also request certain imaging tests like an X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI. Urine tests—as well as tests of mucus, sputum and even wound secretions—may be necessary.
Treatment for Sepsis
Determining how to treat sepsis will be based on what is causing your sepsis and your set of symptoms. A bacterial infection, for example, will normally be treated with antibiotics and corticosteroid medications. Symptoms like kidney failure will be treated with appropriate measures like dialysis.
The key to treating sepsis—no matter how the infection originated—is quick, aggressive treatment to get the infection under control. If severe sepsis or septic shock develop, you may require treatment in an intensive care unit to stabilize your blood pressure, breathing and heart function.
In addition, septicemia treatment may include the following medications and treatments:
- Antibiotics (normally IV antibiotics) to fight infection
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
- Insulin to stabilize blood sugar
- Vasopressers to stabilize blood pressure
- Oxygen and IV fluid support
- Medications to modify immune response
- Dialysis if kidney function becomes impaired
- Surgery to remove infection
If you are suffering with the symptoms of sepsis, it is essential that you seek the guidance of an experienced healthcare provider who will not overlook the symptoms of this possibly fatal condition. To request more information about the treatment for sepsis, call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
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