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General guide to sepsis symptoms

It has been well documented that sepsis can happen to almost anyone and thus awareness is paramount in ensuring that appropriate and timely treatment is given. Although symptoms can vary, noticing a few signs early can prove life-saving.

Symptoms indicating the possibility of sepsis include:

  • Confusion and slurred speech.

  • Shivering, fatigue and fever resembling the common cold, but instead of getting better with time, you get worse.

  • Rapid breathing and high heart rate.

  • Skin discolouration.

  • Not passing urine for the whole day.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

If you suspect you may have sepsis, visit your nearest hospital immediately.

Still, even if you do not show any of the symptoms, a number of useful habits can help prevent sepsis:

  • Keep up good personal hygiene, like washing your hands. Sepsis derives from infection which in turn derives from the spread of bacteria, fungi and protozoa. By washing your hands, you limit your exposure to anything that could instigate sepsis.

  • Vaccinate yourself and your children. Similarly to hand-washing, vaccination will provide protection against sepsis-inducing bacteria.

  • Patients without spleen are in greater risk of developing sepsis. Patients who were born without a spleen, or lost it at some point in their life, should be vaccinated and enhance their awareness on sepsis as much as possible in order to protect themselves.

  • Don’t take antibiotics when you don’t need them. Overconsumption of antibiotics results to bacteria adapting to them and developing antibiotic resistance, rendering the antibiotics useless. Antibiotics are vital in treating sepsis and the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria means that appropriate treatments are being limited.

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