Sepsis: leading cause of death, but it is difficult to identify

In January, suggested the researchers in the leading medical journal The Lancet that, worldwide, an average of eleven million people per year die of sepsis. In the Netherlands, sepsis, many to. It is the most common cause of death in the intensive care unit. And that number could go down, ” says professor of acute medicine, professor dr. Karin Kaasjager. Eight questions about sepsis.

What is sepsis?

“Sepsis is an inflammatory response of the body to an infection so severe is progressing and that the tissues are damaged and the organs will fail to work. It is always the result of an infection caused by a bacterium, a virus, a fungus or a parasite. That the pathogen penetrates inside the body through, for example, the lungs, or a wound, or urinary tract infections.”

“We are talking only about the sepsis if a patient is so seriously ill that the body’s immune system causes damage to its own tissues and organs. Globally, it is estimated that an average of eleven million people per year die of sepsis. This is equivalent to one-fifth of all deaths in the world.”

Dr. Karin Kaasjager, is a professor of acute medicine at the UNIVERSITY medical center Utrecht, Utrecht

Is sepsis in the Netherlands is much?

“In the Netherlands are, on average, approximately thirteen thousand people each year with sepsis. One of them will kill about 4,500, about the same as the number of people living with breast cancer and died. However, the actual number is probably much higher.”

“Globally, it is estimated that an average of eleven million people per year die of sepsis. This is equivalent to one-fifth of all childhood deaths around the world”
Fr. dr. Kaasjager

“It comes from a person with sepsis will often, for example, a pneumonia or a meningitis with which she is in the Intensive Care unit environment. In the case of death, that have inflammation as the cause of death is mentioned. In the Intensive Care units is sepsis, the leading cause of death. That number will go down.”

How can we reduce the number of deaths due to sepsis, lower?

“By increasing awareness about the symptoms and what the disease entails. To have a heart attack, or breast cancer, everyone knows what you’re talking about, in sepsis, almost no one does. Not only do the patients themselves, but also to general practitioners and medical professionals to recognize the symptoms are not always timely for me.

“The timely detection of the symptoms will lead to a better chance of survival. In sepsis, the following applies: each hour counts. For each hour that you are not treated with antibiotics decreases the chance of survival by 7.5 per cent.

What are the symptoms are not always recognized?

“The symptoms are general: you feel like you’re lamlendig, and you have a fever, but it is also not always the case. This can also be a common flu to a point. There will be no immediate alarm bells off. This may be the course for each patient, strong character.

How do you know that it’s not the flu, but is sepsis?

“If you have this problem, a breathing is difficult get, confused, or dizzy, hit, low blood pressure, and/or you are very ill, much sicker than at a “regular” flu, there may be more to it than that; that’s an EMERGENCY signal.”

What will happen at the hospital once it is clear that sepsis is?

“If there is a suspicion of sepsis, can be started immediately with antibiotics, oxygen and extra fluids via an intravenous drip, all the accident and emergency (a & e).”

Difficult breathing, feeling confused or dizzy , have low blood pressure and very sick feeling, and that’s the EMERGENCY signal.”
Fr. dr. Kaasjager

Who is at risk?

“People with an impaired immune system, for example, by cancer chemotherapy or diabetes. For older people, as well. But in general, it can happen to any of us. Sepsis affects the young and healthy people with a good level of fitness. Also, know that not everyone has. And then again, before it’s too late to recognize the symptoms.”

We will be working to raise awareness?

“The World Health Organization (WHO) was called in 2017 to the united nations member states to take measures to ensure that sepsis is more quickly recognized and treated. In the Netherlands, prime minister Brown of the Medical Care during the past summer, in response to a petition in support of defined national plan of action, and there is ongoing work on guidelines for general practitioners and medical specialists to raise awareness about sepsis, and the disease better and earlier identified. That is also true for the effects: for many patients, even those who are not on the IC were to be confronted with the restklachten, and the mental impact of the disease. For them it is the follow-up care is needed.”

What are your hopes for the future.

“The fact that we sepsis, and the effects on the card. And we will continue to invest in research, diagnosis and treatment. We may find in the long term, a well-voorspelmodel, or a speck of dust that indicate sepsis. This would mean that we have sepsis, more likely be able to distinguish it from a common flu. Hopefully the results of all the research that is committed to be done in the future to speed up the diagnostic process.”

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