A new study estimates that twice the amount previously estimated die from sepsis worldwide. Previous studies were limited to middle- and high-income countries where sepsis cases were treated at a hospital. This new study, however, included low-income countries and sepsis cases that occurred outside of a hospital. So, it’s not so much that the numbers have increased, but rather the scope of cases included increased. In 2017 alone, about 48.9 million cases of sepsis with 11 million deaths occurred around the globe. This means sepsis is associated with 1 in 5 deaths worldwide.
What Is Sepsis and How Serious Is It In the U.S.?
Sepsis is an extreme response to an infection that the body is already fighting. The immune system then starts working overtime by releasing infection-fighting chemicals into the blood. And these chemicals don’t just stay localized at the site of infection – they go everywhere. So, your body ends up fighting itself. This can leave you with widespread inflammation, blood clotting, and damaged organs that can eventually fail. You’re also at risk of developing septic shock, which is a drop in blood pressure that can be fatal.
The CDC estimates that each year at least 1.7 million adults will develop sepsis. And, of those 1.7 million adults, 1 in 3 patients who die in a hospital have sepsis. So, this is very serious here in the United States.
What Can Be Done If I Think I Have Sepsis?
Sepsis can occur if you get an infection and leave it untreated. There are many different symptoms, but the main ones are pain, fever, elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, and confusion. This is a time-sensitive condition. So, if you think you have sepsis, seek medical attention immediately. This will increase your chance of survival and beating the infection that lead to sepsis.