Sepsis Is On The Rise
The headline Patty Duke’s Death Announcement Is a Milestone For Sepsis Awareness caught me by surprise. Why sepsis awareness? I decided to spotlight it.
Currently the definition of sepsis is being revised. The incidence of sepsis is on the rise. Each year a million cases of sepsis are reported and 258,000 Americans die. There is a move to increase public awareness.
Let’s take a closer look.
- Sepsis (SEP-sis) is derived from the Greek word sepo meaning putrid or rotten and was used dating back to 700 B.C.
- Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.
- Septicemia, also known as bacteremia and blood poisoning, is an infection in the blood caused by bacteria.
- Septicemia, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gastrointestinal and skin infections, are the most common causes of sepsis.
Sepsis and septicemia are not the same, although sometimes are still used as such. Septicemia is the infection that can lead to sepsis. Sepsis is the body’s response to the infection and is a much more serious condition. Clinicians are using the term bacteremia instead of septicemia to avoid confusion.
In the effort to save lives, the CDC would like the public to be aware enough to tell their doctor they are concerned about sepsis. To say Patty Duke’s cause of death was “sepsis from a ruptured intestine” instead of “complication from a ruptured intestine” is a plus for the sepsis awareness movement.
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