According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1 and 3 million Americans are diagnosed with sepsis each year and 15-20% of them will die. Sepsis is a blood borne infection that can be diagnosed with blood tests and a blood culture. It is treated with oral and/or intravenous antibiotics.
Sepsis is especially life threatening to children and those over the age of 65, who are the most vulnerable. Sepsis develops when the immune system attacks an infection resulting in inflammation throughout the entire body.The body then undergoes a cascade of changes, including blood clots and leaky blood vessels that impair blood flow to critical organs. "For every hour without antibiotics, the probability of dying goes up by 8%", according to Dr. Jim O'Brien, the chairman of Sepsis Alliance
According a report in the New York Times, "the CDC is starting a major public awareness campaign to make sepsis a household word. The first step is to teach people to seek treatment quickly when a loved begins to show symptoms of sepsis, which include chills or fever; extreme pain or discomfort; clammy or sweaty skin; confusion or disorientation; shortness of breath; and a high heart rate." The New York Times also reported that: "A new state law...requires hospitals in New York to screen all patients for sepsis in order to start treatment early."