Sepsis is a serious reaction to an infection. It causes inflammation across large areas of the body and can damage tissue and organs. It can lead to extremely low blood pressure. Infections that can lead to sepsis include:
- A skin infection such as from a cut.
- A lung infection like pneumonia.
- A urinary tract infection.
- A gut infection such as E. coli.
Sepsis is treated with antibiotics. Your doctor will try to find the infection that led to sepsis. You'll also get fluids through a vein (IV). Machines will track your vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate, and pulse rate.
The physical and mental effects of sepsis may not be seen for several weeks after treatment. And they may last long after the infection is gone.
Physical problems may include:
- Feeling weak and tired.
- Feeling out of breath.
- Aches and pains.
- Problems with getting around.
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Dry and itchy skin, brittle nails, and hair loss.
Some of these effects can lead to problems with your organs or your feet, legs, hands, or arms.
Sepsis can also affect your mind and emotions. Problems may include:
- Depression and mood problems.
- Wanting to avoid other people.
- Flashbacks and bad memories of your illness.
It's important to care for yourself and try to avoid infections. This may lower your risk of getting sepsis again.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter T383 in the search box to learn more about "Sepsis: Care Instructions".