Sepsis is a life-threatening illness. How your body responds to a bacterial infection is what usually causes sepsis. What happens is your body’s immune system kicks into overdrive, and this overwhelms normal processes in your blood.
The result is that small blood clots form, blocking blood flow to vital organs. Blocked blood flow to vital organs leads to organ failure.
Septic shock is a condition caused by sepsis. If you are in septic shock, your blood pressure falls dangerously low and many of your organs malfunction as a result of sepsis causing inadequate blood flow.
Usually, the first symptoms of septic shock are confusion and reduced mental alertness. Other early signs may be:
- shaking chills
- rapid breathing
- warm, flushed skin
- decreased urination
- rapid rise in temperature
- rapid and pounding pulse
- blood pressure that rises and falls
Also, excess lactic acid is released into the bloodstream which causes blood to become more acidic, resulting in malfunction of many of the body’s organs.
Babies, elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to sepsis. However, healthy people have also become deathly ill from it.
A quick diagnosis is crucial, because one third of people who get sepsis die from it. This is an emergency!