September is “Sepsis Awareness Month”


In order to survive Sepsis, a leading cause of death in this county, you need to catch it early. However, less than 40% of the population even knows what it is. According to the Sepsis Alliance, Sepsis affects more than a million Americans each year, and is responsible for more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS combined.

Sepsis is a serious medical condition that begins with an infection and can end in organ failure and, in the most severe cases, death. When you get an infection, your immune system releases chemicals into your blood to fight the infection. The chemicals sometimes cause body-wide inflammation, which can lead to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. This impairs blood flow, which damages the body’s organs by depriving them of nutrients and oxygen.

Anyone can develop sepsis, but it’s most common and most dangerous in older adults or those with weakened immune systems. Common symptoms of sepsis are fever, chills, rapid breathing and heart rate, rash, confusion and disorientation.

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center has a multifaceted, multidisciplinary, continuous quality improvement program to fight sepsis. The program aims to achieve early identification of patients at risk for sepsis by quality measures and evidence-based treatment protocols set forth by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign. The highly trained team, which is led by a Sepsis Coordinator and a Medical Director, work with each nursing unit to help identify the signs of sepsis and take action to prevent the condition. When a patient begins to exhibit symptoms of sepsis, a “Code Sepsis” is called and the team rushes to assess and treat the patient proactively. Early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial for survival. If you suspect a loved one is septic, go to the ER immediately.

For more information on sepsis, please contact (305)682-6677.

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