Sepsis, a whole-body inflammation caused by a severe infection, is one of the leading causes of in-hospital deaths and can be difficult to diagnose. Once a patient has been diagnosed with sepsis, long hospital stays are common; many patients end up in the intensive care unit.
Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent sepsis. The Global Sepsis Alliance recommends the following steps:
Be strict about vaccinating children. The very young and the very old are most susceptible to sepsis, as well as those with compromised immune systems. Vaccinating infants leads to “herd immunity,” which protects the population from bacterial infections, even those who have not been vaccinated.
Use antibiotics only for bacterial infections. Antibiotics are often wrongly prescribed for viral infections, which causes the body to build immunity to antibiotics — and thus unable to fight bacterial infections. Ensure that your patients use their antibiotics as prescribed and finish the entire bottle as well.
Wash your hands frequently and keep equipment clean. Unsanitary facilities can quickly spread bacteria, which leads to sepsis. Always wash your hands between patients, use sterile technique and clean countertops, floors and equipment thoroughly.
For more tips on preventing sepsis and improving its outcome, check out The Advisory Board infographic below.