How do I recognize blood poisoning?

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From: bjarne kommnick

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Sepsis is the third most common cause of death in Germany and the most common after coronary heart disease and influenza. Many cases are preventable.

Berlin – Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, is an insidious disease. According to the initiative “Germany recognizes sepsis”, 75,000 people die each year in Germany alone. This makes it the third leading cause of death. There are more than 11 million sepsis deaths each year worldwide. Many cases are preventable, as the initiative describes. In Germany alone, early detection could prevent at least 20,000 deaths. Blood poisoning plays an important role, especially in the case of flu and coronary diseases.

Blood poisoning and corona: 90 percent of all deaths are due to sepsis

The Sepsis Foundation explains the connection between corona and sepsis: “According to a recent review, which included more than 150 studies on Covid-19, almost a third of all patients treated in hospital with Covid-19 meet the criteria for sepsis.” About 80 percent of patients in the intensive care unit would suffer from sepsis.

A woman puts her hand to her sore head
Muscle aches and headaches, exhaustion and shortness of breath: many of the symptoms of sepsis are similar to those of Long-Covid. (Iconic image) © Oliver Killig/dpa

Konrad Reinhart, an intensive care physician and president of the Sepsis Foundation, explained otherwise. focus.of: “Early detection and faster intervention could prevent many deaths and many serious long-term effects, time is running incredibly fast for patients,” says Reinhart. According to this, about 90 percent of all covid deaths ultimately died of sepsis.

Symptoms of Long Covid and Post-Sepsis Syndrome almost identical

In addition, according to the Foundation, the post-sepsis and long-term syndrome of Covid, that is, the long-term consequences of the disease in terms of its type and frequency, are largely identical and would occur with a similar frequency even in milder courses of the disease. without intensive care treatment.

Both include “complaints such as exhaustion and fatigue, persistent shortness of breath from exertion and shortness of breath, cardiac impairment, cognitive difficulties such as memory and concentration problems, sleep disturbances, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, muscle aches, and headaches.” “.

Intensive care doctor: “Even harmless” infections can end in sepsis

In principle, any infection can end in fatal sepsis, “even seemingly harmless ones at first,” says Reinhart. In four out of ten cases, sepsis would be the result of pneumonia, only in nine percent of all cases from a wound infection. Sepsis symptoms are often recognized too late because they are associated with flu-like symptoms. These would include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, and feeling very sick.

However, sepsis does not necessarily have to be accompanied by fever. Consequently, hypothermia of the body could even present itself as a symptom. Signs of this are heavy, rapid breathing, more than 20 breaths per minute, or when your blood pressure drops. Other signs of sepsis are when the patient suddenly seems confused or listless. “If one of these signs is associated with an infection, the emergency number 112 should be called immediately,” says Reinhardt.

In sepsis, the immune system is “overactivated”

But how does sepsis develop? The Sepsis Foundation explains: “Whether bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites cause a local infection, our immune system often succeeds in containing it directly at the site of inflammation.” The infection would follow a limited course that could be controlled with appropriate treatment measures.

“In the case of sepsis, however, the pathogens break through this local limitation and enter the bloodstream. This triggers a widespread inflammatory reaction throughout the body, which activates all defense systems through a chain reaction. The immune system is thus overactivated.” This would not only attack pathogens, but also the body’s own healthy cells as collateral damage.

Sepsis: blood poisoning leads to multi-organ failure

“If an effective antibiotic or, for example, in the case of a viral infection, a drug that is effective against this pathogen is not administered promptly, multi-organ failure and septic shock develop, in which blood and oxygen reach to the vital organs. it is also affected and they stop working”, according to the foundation.

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