Why Sepsis Occurs

A bacterial infection, from something as minor as an infected tooth to something more major such as a kidney or urinary tract infection, can turn into a much worse condition if left untreated.

Sepsis occurs when an infection causes a systemic inflammatory response. While the infection itself is a problem, the real danger lies in the way our bodies respond to infection.

Inflammation is a helpful response when it is located in one affected area, but when our body responds with a systemic inflammatory response, our blood vessels may dilate significantly causing our blood pressure to drop. Dropping blood pressure may also help increase the likelihood of developing a blood clot, which can deprive tissue of blood flow causing it to become more acidic. The major risks during sepsis are fatally low blood pressure and multi-organ failure caused by our immune response to the infection.

 

Why are sepsis rates increasing?

Sepsis is on the rise nationwide affecting the elderly and an increasing number of young people as well. The spike in sepsis cases across the country may relate to an increase in the number of drug-resistant bacterial infections in the population, caused by our collective overuse of antibiotic medications and individuals not completing antibiotic courses prescribed by doctors. These resistant infections make sepsis more difficult to treat.

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