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insider - College of Medicine News Resource - University of Florida

In the fight against sepsis, time means everything

Share: By Laura Castro
Published: September 6th, 2016 • Category: Staff

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Time is the enemy for patients with sepsis. Their bodies are mounting a massive, life-threatening response to infection that can destroy tissue and damage organs in a matter of minutes. Septic patients rely on clinical staff to know the signs and symptoms, and to react quickly and efficiently to help save their lives.

Sepsis is a challenge for hospitals nationwide. UF Health treats about 3,300 septic patients every year, and interdisciplinary teams are utilizing new tools, strategies and processes to identify sepsis and respond swiftly with treatment. The goal is to halt the infection in its early stages to reduce complication and mortality.

Premature infants, the elderly and patients with weakened immune systems or chronic, serious illnesses have the highest incidence of sepsis. However, any patient with an infection can become septic.

Recognition and a fast response are crucial when the clock is ticking. Know the signs:

  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Light-headedness
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Shaking
  • Skin rash

Click here to read about how UF Health researchers and health care professionals are fighting sepsis.