It is winter and we are all afraid of viruses, germs, diseases in general, which can develop more complicated than usual in our body. Every little cold can degenerate and turn into sepsis. Nowadays we are even more careful, we also have COVID-19, nevertheless or even more we are afraid of sepsis in the cold season, a hospital stay can be complicated now.
But what means sepsis actually?
Sepsis is the extreme reaction of the body to an infection. It is life-threatening, and without early treatment, sepsis can quickly lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.
Sepsis occurs when an infection you already have – in your skin, lungs, urinary tract or elsewhere – sets off a chain reaction throughout your body.
What causes sepsis?
When germs enter a person’s body, they can cause an infection. If that infection is not stopped, it can develop into sepsis. So a simple case of hypothermia can be the start.
Who is at risk?
Anyone can get an infection, and almost any infection can lead to sepsis. Some people are at higher risk for infection and sepsis:
– Adults who are 65 years or older
– People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or even MSA, Lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease, etc. MSA patients are especially at risk because the already have a weakened body has an even harder time fighting off attacks, and weakening the body makes all symptoms of illness worse. Patients come out of illness more difficult which brings a general weakening of the body, it can set off a chain reaction that can often lead to death. MSA patients have a body temperature about two degrees lower than non-ill people, chronically cold hands and feet and therefore much more vulnerable to infections.
– People with weakened immune systems
– Children younger than one year
The most commonly identified germs that cause infections that can develop into sepsis include Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Escherichia coli
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of sepsis may include one or a combination of the following:
– Confusion or disorientation
– Fever, shaking or severe feeling of cold (note, MSA patients have a lower body temperature and thus fever is often not detected)
– Shortness of breath
– Sweaty skin (in patients who are still able to sweat, otherwise this is also an additional source of complications).
Sepsis is life threatening. In case of the slightest suspicion, act immediately and call a doctor, because time is of the essence. So do not waste time.
I recommend the usual flu vaccination, vaccination against pneumococcus can also not hurt. And of course to watch out. What is your tip?
So keep warm in winter and do not take any risk!