While around 47-50 million people are diagnosed with sepsis and 11 million people die because of it, it is a disease that is not known enough. Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital Anesthesia and Reanimation Department Intensive Care Specialist Prof. Dr. Sibel Temür stated that sepsis, claiming a life in each 2,8 seconds and is a medical emergency, can be prevented by preventing infections. Prof. Temür also stated that emergency intervention and culture acquisition, followed by an early treatment of antibiotics, reduce death percentages from 70% to 20%.

Defining sepsis as a life-threatening disease state that leads to organ dysfunction with the abnormal response of our immune system to infection, Prof. Dr. Sibel Temür said “Sometimes it is the infections, or the organ failures are the primary reasons. But if the chart is not reviewed as a whole and an emergency treatment is not underway, risk of death goes up to 70%”.

Underlining that in the quick course and recovery processes, personal factors are highly important in sepsis, Prof. Dr. Sibel Temür provided the following information: “Age groups where the immune system is not good, people under the age of 1, people over the age of 65, those who have had their spleen removed, those with chronic diseases (lung, heart, kidney disorders), diabetics and people diagnosed with AIDS are among the risk groups for sepsis”.

Pandemic Affected Sepsis Statistics As Well!

Sepsis can be triggered by all possible pathogen-induced infections such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites. For this reason, the responses were very unfortunate in those whose immune system was not good during the viral pandemic, according to Temür. She stated; “2 years ago, pre-pandemic data was 30 million sepsis diagnoses per year, while this figure reached 47-50 million after the pandemic”.

Antibiotic Resistence Affects the Treatment Negatively!

In addition, she pointed out that antibiotic resistance, which has become an important problem for the whole world in recent years, also affects sepsis negatively. Dr. Sibel Temür explained the following on the subject:

“Antibiotic resistance increases with the inappropriate use of antibiotics in terms of variety, amount and duration. We are left with no weapons to fight bacterial infections. Viruses are very smart and resistance to antivirals is developing much faster, new variants are emerging. The development of resistance negatively affects the treatment in sepsis. Unfortunately, Turkey ranks first among European countries in resistance to antibiotics. This poses a separate risk for sepsis.”

Symptoms Affecting the Whole Body Are Observed

Stating that the symptoms of sepsis differ according to the focus of infection, systemic symptoms that concern the whole body occur in the patient. Dr. Sibel Temür listed the symptoms of the disease as follows:

“Symptoms that patients confuse with many different problems include: fever, drowsiness and slurred speech, regression in neurological status, extreme chills, muscle pain, severe shortness of breath, respiratory rate above 22 per minute, decreased blood pressure, inability to urinate all day long, pale, spotted, discolored skin and feeling like you are going to die”.

The Are Long-Term Effects As Well!

Stating that cases that survived after sepsis have the risk of long-term effects such as memory loss, concentration difficulties or PTSD, Temür followed; “Patients have to reapply to health institutions due to physical problems, cognitive disorders, recurrent infections or sepsis-related chronic organ failures after discharge. Although the rate of re-admissions to the health institution varies in various studies, it is observed above 50%.”

Awareness Is A Must For Prevention!

Saying "Sepsis is the most preventable cause of death in the world" and it can be achieved with vaccination and fundamental hygiene procedures, Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital Anesthesia and Reanimation Department Intensive Care Specialist Prof. Dr. Sibel Temür continued her words as follows:

“It can be prevented by sanitary measures such as vaccination, access to clean sanitation facilities, clean water, and above all by raising awareness. If an infection has caused sepsis, it must be recognized quickly and the source of the infection treated with antibiotics. Early treatment of infections and early recognition of sepsis saves lives. Sepsis is a medical emergency, which is very important to know as awareness. Emergency intervention in the first hours and starting early antibiotic treatment by taking culture can reduce the losses from sepsis from 70% to 20%.”


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