Frequently associated with patients who have developed bed sores (also referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers), sepsis is a systemic infection that can cause rapid deterioration of every system of the body. When it comes to treating sepsis, the both the timing of the initiation of the medical treatment along with the treatment method is crucial part of the patient’s survival.
Therefore, it is paramount that medical staff is tuned into the symptoms of sepsis in order to make a diagnosis and provide timely sepsis treatment for the person. Particularly in patients with existing bed sores, medical staff should be on the lookout for: elevated fever, elevated heart rate, low blood pressure, confusion or delirium or significant joint pain— all of which may be indicative of sepsis or other types of infection.
Once the diagnosis of sepsis has been made, there are several types of sepsis treatment that may be offered to the patient depending on their present condition and medical history. Most frequently, sepsis treatment is provided in the confines of a hospital or specialized clinic that has staff with experience treating patients with sepsis and can quickly intervene if the condition progresses to septic shock or sever sepsis.
Medications to treat sepsis
The most common type of sepsis treatment involves the use of medications. Almost all types of sepsis treatment involve the use of antibiotics both broad-spectrum types as well as antibiotics more tailored to the individuals condition. Part of the antibiotic treatment involves frequent blood tests to see which types of bacteria are present and their concentrations.
Other medications that may accompany the use of antibiotics include vasopressors, which are administered intravenously to constrict the blood vessels and increase blood pressure from the low levels usually seen in septic patients. A treating physician may also include corticosteroids, sedatives or painkillers as part of a sepsis treatment regimen.
Medical devices to treat sepsis
When sepsis has progressed to the point that the individual is in septic shock or has been diagnosed with severe sepsis, they may require the use of a ventilator to help them breath or dialysis machine to help the kidneys process toxins in the body.
Other types of sepsis treatment
While sepsis is indeed a systemic infection, there are certain cases where the sepsis can be traced to an infection that originates in a particular area of the body. In these cases, surgeons may elect to perform a surgical procedure to remove the source of the infection (and the remaining tissue in the area) with the goal of giving the body every opportunity to heal on its own.
Prognosis for people with sepsis
Assuming that sepsis treatment is successful and physicians are able to remedy the underlying sepsis condition, many patients still require post-sepsis care that includes monitoring organs that may have been damaged as a result of the sepsis. In some cases, patients who have damaged kidneys or kidney failure, may require lifelong dialysis treatment.
Mounting medical studies now suggest that people who have an episode of sepsis or septic shock suffer permanent damage to their immune system and are always at a heightened risk for infection. Sadly, many patients who have seemingly ‘recovered’ from sepsis have shortened life expectancies.