Did you know September is Sepsis Awareness Month? Few people the medical community even know what sepsis is, let alone know that there is an entire month dedicated to raising awareness about the potentially deadly health condition. Throughout the month, healthcare professionals, families, community organizations, and individuals are hard at work sounding the alarm on what sepsis is, what symptoms to look out for, and how to prevent it. After all, just being educated on the disease can save lives.
What Is Sepsis?
Sepsis is a very sneaky condition that can come out of nowhere. It can spring up from something minor, like a small cut. It occurs when the body’s immune system fails to fight any signs of infection from the cut and instead begins attacking organ systems. When this happens and sepsis sets in, it can result in limb amputation, organ failure, and even death if it’s not treated in time.
The truly frightening thing about sepsis is how sudden it can set in. Unlike many health conditions that only attack vulnerable hosts, such as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, sepsis doesn’t discriminate. Anyone, from children to older adults, can develop sepsis. It’s also fairly common, which is another scary thing about it. It’s estimated that more than 258,000 Americans die from sepsis each year. That’s more than the annual number of breast cancer, AIDS, and prostate cancer deaths combined.
Sadly, many deaths that occur because of sepsis can be prevented if caught early enough. Believe it or not, it is a treatable condition. When it is caught in its early stages, the proper treatment can be applied, hopefully stopping sepsis before it’s too late.
Symptoms, causes & prevention on page 2.