Bryant & Stratton College
AHLT 120 – A&P
Dr. Mark Decker
April 2, 2014
I chose to write about sepsis because my mother passed away from this deadly disease on March 9th. She was admitted to West Allis Memorial Hospital on February 25th with a severe urinary tract infection (UTI). My father and I thought she had a stroke because she showed signs of weakness, slurring, lethargy, and confusion. The doctors indicated that there was no sign of stroke, which was a relief. She was then admitted overnight for treatment of her UTI. Four days later on February 29th, she was moved into ICU because she continued to have the same symptoms and appeared to be getting worse. After doing my own research on her symptoms, I asked the ICU nurse if they tested her for sepsis. She confirmed that she did have sepsis and they were now treating that along with a laundry list of other things. Eight days later, my mother passed away from complications of: Sepsis, COPD, Pneumonia, Hypoxia, Klebsiella, and Hypercapnia (carbon-dioxide poisoning).
Sepsis is a condition that can be a cause or result of other diseases and infections. Wayne Robson and Ron Daniels (2013) quote the definition as:
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissue and organs. Sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death especially if not recognized early and treated promptly. Sepsis remains the primary cause of death from infection despite advances in modern medicine, including vaccines, antibiotics and acute care. Millions of people worldwide die of sepsis every year (¶ 2).
Sepsis can be difficult to diagnose quickly because of the underlying infection(s) that may be causing the sepsis. There is a very small window of opportunity in which treatment can dramatically improve survival. A patient that is admitted with severe sepsis is at a level of risk many times greater than