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September Is Sepsis Awareness Month

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Over 75,000 adults and 800 children were hospitalized last year in Tennessee due to sepsis.

What is sepsis? Less than half of the world population knows. It is the body’s abnormal reaction to an infection that can lead to shock, permanent disability or death.

CRMC ICU Clinical Nurse Specialist Angela Craig said from January to July, the hospital has treated over 600 severe sepsis cases.

“Some common symptoms would be fever, chilling, fast heart rate, fast breathing, foggy thinking, weakness, hurting or generally feeling sick,” Craig said.

Craig said symptoms usually start off mild but can become severe quickly. She said the faster a patient suspects sepsis and seeks treatment, the better survival chance they have.

Sepsis is nothing new for medical staff. Craig said anytime a patient comes in hospital staff ask if there is a known or suspected infection and how is the body responding to that infection.

“So many times we’ll give [patients] antibiotics,” Craig said. “We are accepting blood values, like we’re getting blood cultures to see if there is any growth in their blood, so we’re really trying to find where and how significant this infection is.”

The state sepsis survival rate from April 2019 to March 2020 was 89.81 percent. At the hospital that figure is 88.28 percent. Craig said when CRMC first began sepsis awareness programs in 2009 the survival rate was drastically lower.

Patients with COVID-19 often become septic later. Craig said although most of the health focus is on the virus, people should not forget other illnesses or infections.

“We have screening tools so every shift and PRN, our nurses, are screening patients for sepsis,” Craig said. “That is the expectation. We were also the first hospital in the state of Tennessee to become sepsis disease specific certified, and we continue to stay certified.”


The post September Is Sepsis Awareness Month appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.