Misconceptions and truths about sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection
September 19, 2022
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis. – Every two minutes someone in the United States dies from a sepsis infection. Across the world, there are eight million sepsis-related deaths each year. Those stats are from the Sepsis Alliance Institute, which provides public and clinical education to help better understand sepsis, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals’ Quality Improvement Specialist, Jenner Staves says as many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented with increased knowledge about the infection, rapid diagnosis, and treatment.
“It’s important to have a designated month for sepsis awareness because it draws more peoples’ attention to the topic and hopefully reinforces how severe the condition can be,” says Staves. “It’s also a good time to dispel the most common myths about sepsis.”
- Sepsis is a blood infection.
- Sepsis is the body’s overreaction and toxic response to any number of infections, including bacterial or viral infections, fungi or parasites.
- Sepsis is only acquired in a hospital setting, usually after a surgical procedure.
- Sepsis can begin anytime and anywhere. Patients admitted to the hospital with severe sepsis and septic shock have most often acquired sepsis before entering the hospital.
- Sepsis is rare and only affects people with preexisting conditions.
- Anyone with an infection is at risk for sepsis no matter what caused the infection; from an inflamed paper cut to pneumonia. Sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals. Early detection and treatment will provide the best outcomes for patients in a hospital setting and in the community.
Staves says recognizing the signs of sepsis, using the acronym TIME, and getting medical attention quickly may save lives.
T – Temperature higher or lower than normal
I – Infection symptoms are present such as chills and sweats, sore throat, stiff neck and/or burning or pain with urination
M – Mental decline such as confusion, sleepiness and/or decreased energy
E – Extremely ill with severe pain, discomfort and/or shortness of breath
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, 900 W. Clairemont Ave. and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls, 2661 Cty. Hwy. I are open 24/7 to provide care in the emergency department for patients showing signs of a sepsis infection.
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.
Communications Department HSHS Wisconsin