This statistic really caught my attention – “Severe sepsis is fatal in 1 of four cases and will kill more than a million American’s this year.” A disease, or results of the disease, kills as many people as breast and lung cancer combined yet we hardly know anything about.
Most of what I recall learning about sepsis has come in the context as a cause for shock. The inflammatory response from a septic infection causes systemic vasodilation. Significant signs include hypotension, tachycardia, and tachypnea. The patient may or may not be febrile. Usually, a cause for infection can be identified during the patient assessment process. I have most often encountered septic patients that initially had a urinary tract or respiratory infection. Recent invasive procedures and illnesses that result in immunosuppression are also causes of sepsis.
A Sepsis Alert
Paramedic, EMS Educator, and Blogger Steve Whitehead has written an excellent article for EMS Magazine about Severe Sepsis and the Denver Metropolitan Sepsis Alert Program. The protocol equips EMS professionals to identify sepsis, initiate treatment, and activate a sepsis alert at the receiving hospital. Early identification and intervention can reduce patient mortality. Make sure you read Steve’s article. (the statistics in the introduction paragraph of this post came from Steve’s article).
Sepsis CE Lesson
Learn more about sepsis from a RapidCE lesson that discusses the physiology and treatment of sepsis. Successfully complete the lesson to earn 1.0 CECBEMS approved CE credits. Comments from previous students.
“Good course should be mandatory for all EMS providers.” Paramedic user comment
“Awesome review. Thank you!” Paramedic user comment
“This lesson was well done, for rather complex subject.” EMT user comment
“Excellent course.” EMT user comment
Additional Resources to learn more about Sepsis