Thursday, September 1, 2011

September is Sepsis Awareness Month

Infections - we all get them. We may get a cut on our leg that we didn't clean out properly or we may develop a urinary tract infection or even influenza. We may have surgery that has complications or develop a disease like cancer, that leaves us prone to getting infections. However we get the infection, be it viral, bacterial or fungal, there's always the chance that our body will overreact and we develop sepsis.

But what is sepsis? According to Sepsis Alliance, it's the body's toxic response to an infection. In other words, as your body tries to fight the infection, it goes into overdrive and ends up trying to kill you. Some people call it blood poisoning, but that isn't a good word for it because it doesn't accurately describe what is going on.

Once sepsis sets in, your body's organs begin to shut down and eventually, it may cause death. If not death, you could end up having a limb - or several - amputated in order to save your life.

Right now, every 1.75 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with severe sepsis. Many more are developing sepsis. In the United States, every 2.5 minutes, someone dies of sepsis. Thousands more are left with life-altering after effects.

September is Sepsis Awareness Month. Please take a few minutes to learn about sepsis and to spread the word. It may be a cliche, but the life you save may be your own.

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