Who is at Highest Risk of Sepsis?

Sepsis is a dangerous immune response that often leads to hospitalizations and is one of the leading causes of death in hospitals. The immune response is triggered when the body suffers an infection or injury. This condition leads to an alarming number of readmissions to the hospital.

Sepsis can be unpredictable and can escalate quickly. It can be incredibly dangerous. Patients with sepsis can experience organ failure, drops in blood pressure, a weakened heart, and septic shock. Since the condition can be fatal, it is critical to know who is at the highest risk of developing sepsis. If you suffer harm due to a misdiagnosis, a Portland septic shock attorney may be able to secure fair compensation on your behalf.

Causes of Sepsis

Bacterial infections usually drive sepsis. However, viral infections can also be the cause. Infections such as those listed below can often be to blame for sepsis.

  • Flu and Covid-19
  • Fungal infections such as Invasive candidiasis
  • Insults to the body that are not infectious, such as a physical injury

When the body is faced with an infection or injury, it typically releases protein immune mediators. Once these protein immune mediators are in the bloodstream, their job is to fight the infection. Sometimes, they can run rampant, which initiates overall inflammation, causing issues like leaky blood vessels and blood clots.

This inflammation causes blood flow to be hindered, and oxygen and nutrients are not delivered to the organs, which can leave the organs damaged. When injuries happen, they can also cause the body to react the way it would if an infection were taking place. If antibiotics have been administered, the agents causing the infection will be undetectable, so figuring out the cause might be impossible.

Candidates for Sepsis

Sepsis can develop in anyone. However, some people are at higher risk for sepsis than others. Those in the higher-risk category are listed below:

  • Infants and children
  • The elderly or older adults
  • People who have diabetes, AIDS, liver disease or cancer
  • Someone who has experienced multiple concurrent injuries
  • Patients who have had concurrent surgeries
  • Specific medications can make sepsis more prevalent
  • Others may have certain biological factors that could make a person more prone to sepsis

How Sepsis is Acquired

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that out of the 1,700,000 adults who suffer sepsis in the United States, almost 270,000 will not survive. For a variety of reasons, the number of cases of sepsis in the U.S. is growing. Some of the factors are listed below:

  • The numbers of cases are being monitored closely. In the past, many cases probably went unchecked.
  • Because of improvements in the treatment of chronic illnesses, the life span of those suffering from them is longer. Chronic illness sufferers and older people are in the danger zone when it comes to sepsis.
  • Antibiotic resistance has made some infections difficult to eliminate, meaning the infections that are more difficult to treat can lead to sepsis.
  • Immune suppressants are prescribed to organ transplant patients. These drugs increase the risk of developing sepsis. As the number of people receiving organ transplants increases, the number of sepsis cases will grow as well.

Vigilance is Important

Keeping a close eye on any infection and the reaction your body is having to it is important. Speak to your healthcare team about your worries as soon as possible since the risk of sepsis escalating quickly is a very real concern.