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At Sparrow, we strive for early detection and treatment of Sepsis. Nurses screen every adult patient in the Emergency Department, on admission to the hospital, every 12 hours, and as needed for Sepsis.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by your body's immune system responding to an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body's response to an infection injures its tissues and organs. It may lead to shock, multi-organ failure, and death - especially if not recognized early and treated promptly.

Sepsis can affect anyone however there are some groups at higher risk. People who are immunocompromised such as those on steroids or immunosuppressant drugs, or are on chemotherapy for example, as well as the very young or very old, people who had recent surgery, IV drug users, those with indwelling lines or catheters, women who are pregnant or recently pregnant, and those who are already on antibiotic therapy.

Sepsis and Septic Shock affect millions of people each year and kill as many as 1 in 4 affected. It is the leading cause of death hospitals across the nation.

If you have these signs or symptoms it is important to seek medical treatment immediately or call 911 and say I am concerned about Sepsis. Early treatment is important.

Sepsis stats and infection information

Screening

Sepsis screening is a nurse-driven protocol that uses vital signs and clinical assessment to initiate lab work to assist with early detection of Sepsis. When patients meet the screening criteria, a Code Sepsis is activated. It is a teamed approach with phlebotomy, pharmacy, nursing, and providers to help intervene and treat Sepsis rapidly.

Symptoms

  • Shivering, fever or very cold
  • Cold of clammy skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Little or no urine output
  • Confusion or loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Extreme pain or discomfort

If you have these signs or symptoms it is important to seek medical treatment immediately or call 911 and say I am concerned about Sepsis. Early treatment is important.

Sepsis stats and warning signs

Prevention

You can help prevent Sepsis by using simple infection prevention practices including washing your hands, keeping cuts clean and covered until healed, getting recommended vaccines, and seeking medical help when you suspect you have an infection.

Treatment

Recognizing signs and symptoms early is important to help improve treatment and outcomes of Sepsis. Sepsis treatment includes medication to treat the infection and medications to treat other symptoms of the disease. These include antibiotics, low doses of corticosteroids, insulin to help maintain stable blood sugar levels, drugs that modify the immune system responses, medications to increase blood pressure known as vasopressors, and painkillers or sedatives. Therapy or surgery may also be required.

Resources

For more information about Sepsis, you can visit:

Screening

Sepsis screening is a nurse-driven protocol that uses vital signs and clinical assessment to initiate lab work to assist with early detection of Sepsis. When patients meet the screening criteria, a Code Sepsis is activated. It is a teamed approach with phlebotomy, pharmacy, nursing, and providers to help intervene and treat Sepsis rapidly.

Screening

Screening

Screening