News Headlines Article

Sepsis can kill before you know it, so it’s wise to know the symptoms
Washington Post

Infection can set off a chain reaction that quickly causes death.

The human immune system is a wonder, an intricately constructed network of organs, cells and biological processes designed to ward off infection and disease.

But sometimes the system goes into overdrive, leading to deadly consequences by releasing chemicals that cause widespread inflammation. A full-body chain reaction results, prompting rapid tissue damage, organ failure and death.

This extreme reaction is called sepsis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.7 million Americans get sepsis each year, and about 270,000 die of the illness.

But just because sepsis is common doesn’t mean its signs are well known. When the Sepsis Alliance surveyed more than 2,000 adults online in 2017, the nonprofit group found that while 58 percent of respondents knew the word, few could identify all of its most common symptoms. The alliance is trying to promote awareness of sepsis during September, which it calls Sepsis Awareness Month.