Baptist Health Paducah shares how to minimize the risk of sepsis

September 07, 2022

Every two minutes someone dies from sepsis in the U.S.

(Paducah, Kentucky) September 6 -- Every two minutes someone dies from sepsis in the U.S. This condition is the body’s overwhelming response to infection. Baptist Health Paducah aims to raise awareness throughout the month of September, which is Sepsis Awareness Month. 

Sepsis can be caused by any type of infection, from an everyday bug bite to more severe infections such as pneumonia and meningitis. The infection can be bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic. Some people have a higher risk of developing sepsis, including the very young and the very old, people with chronic or serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer and those who have impaired immune systems.

There are three actions you can take to decrease your risk of developing sepsis.

  1. Get Vaccinated: Preventing conditions such as the flu, chicken pox, etc. can eliminate your body’s need to respond to them in potentially extreme ways.
  2. Treat wounds and infections promptly: Anything from a cut on your finger to a urinary tract infection should be treated. The sooner these infections are addressed, the less likely you are to sepsis.
  3. Practice good hygiene: Actions such as washing your hands correctly can help prevent infections that may trigger sepsis.

Although these actions can minimize your risk, it is important to understand that not all infections can be treated, therefore, not all cases of sepsis can be prevented. However, with fast recognition and treatment, most people can survive sepsis. The Sepsis Alliance recommends the memory aid “T-I-M-E” to detect the signs of sepsis.

  • Temperature: higher or lower than normal
  • Infection: may have signs and symptoms of an infection (UTI, pneumonia, infected cut, etc.)
  • Mental decline: confused, sleepy, difficult to rouse
  • Extremely ill: severe pain, discomfort, shortness of breath

Knowing these symptoms and catching it early could save a life. If you or a loved one has an infection that is not getting better with treatment or is getting worse, act fast and see your medical provider. If an individual experiences any of the TIME symptoms in combination with another, seek urgent medical care and call 911. For more information visit, Symptoms - Sepsis Alliance.