Blood poisoning (sepsis): Symptoms, Causes & Therapy

21 October 2017

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Case of blood poisoning quick action is important. Within the first hours, the patient's condition may worsen to such an extent that his life is in danger. This can be avoided with early treatment usually.

What is blood poisoning?
Of blood poisoning speak physicians when the immune system vigorously defend against infection, while endogenous tissue damages. The result is the worst case Organ failure that can be fatal.

Often results in a blood infection from pneumonia, wound infection or bladder infection. But other infections are possible triggers. are usually bacterial pathogens that cause, rare viruses or fungi.

Blood poisoning often manifested by high fever and chills. Also, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure and confusion are common signs. Often the condition of the patient worsened rapidly.

Therefore, blood poisoning is considered medical emergency, the one early treatment requires!

Most blood poisoning with a localized infection, such as a wound, a urinary tract infection or a pulmonary inflammation begins. Normally, the body fights the pathogen in place. If he fails, it may happen that the pathogens enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.

This causes a violent defense reaction of the immune system. If this is not only directed against the pathogen, but also against the body's own tissues, may life-threatening damage is caused to the organs. At worst, this one or more organs lose their function.

Typical symptoms of blood poisoning are:

The official medical definition of sepsis is currently in transition. So far, the doctor made a diagnosis on the basis of so-called SIRS criteria. SIRS stands for "systemic inflammatory response syndrome", The SIRS criteria can the Strength of the inflammatory response judge.

According to the new definition ("Sepsis 3") To the doctor instead guided by the so-called SOFA score. SOFA stands for "Sepsis-related organ failure assessment", so "Evaluation of sepsis associated with the organ failure", In future, the physician should therefore not the extent of inflammation judge, but estimate what damage it has done in the body.

To as quickly as possible a picture of the State of individual organs to make, the doctor checks, among other things,

Using a special form of ultrasound, known as echocardiography, the doctor examines the heart function.

He also measures the blood pressure the patient and takes away blood from. On the basis of blood tests, the doctor can

So far, doctors diagnosed based the following criteria:

The new sepsis definition distinguishes only between sepsis and septic shock. Previously there were three levels of severity sepsis, which the doctor could determine also using the above criteria:

Often the doctor is initially an antibiotic one that is effective against different bacteria (so-called. Broad-spectrum antibiotic). If therapy strikes and the patient's condition improves, the doctor may use a different antibiotic depends targeted against this pathogen. So it can reduce the risk that a resistance (resistance) developed to the antibiotics.

If antibiotics do not help, may have Fungi infection triggered: In the case suitable for the therapy Medicines for fungal infections (So-called. Antifungal agents).

In sepsis, blood pressure drops sharply. In addition, the blood flow to the organs is impaired. This lacks the organs of oxygen, resulting in the worst case result, they fail.

To prevent that, the doctor via an infusion smuggled large quantities of fluid in the body of the patient. He may also give him a certain means (noradrenaline), which stimulates the cardiovascular system and raises blood pressure.

At a septic shock carried out these measures at the beginning of therapy. This means that the doctor will first try to restore blood flow to the organs. Only then he fights the infection.

In addition, the doctor meets most other measures to support the recovery of the patient. These include:

Since the blood infection spreads through the bloodstream, the infection soon reach vital organs in the body. After a few hours infested organs like lungs, heart and liver. Possible consequences of sepsis are therefore:

With an early treatment of the infection can be often prevent the pathogens spread throughout the body.

Who has the suspicion that he has a blood infection, should immediately one Seek medical help.

German Sepsis Society e.V.


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