According to researchers, people get prone to sepsis as they age because their immune system gets weak. In the older age, there is a high probability of getting a chronic disease like diabetes, arthritis, heart failure, or kidney disease. As the body tries to fight these infection, it risks the person to acquiring sepsis. However, sepsis can be caused by any infection even flu but it is mostly caused by respiratory diseases like pneumonia or genitourinary infections like Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
Most people don’t know the symptoms of sepsis in elderly people. I have come to a realization that the reason behind this is the assumption that old people often get sick and that these symptoms are just normal illnesses. Therefore, I have highlighted different symptoms below to help you save your elderly ones from death resulting from sepsis. I have highlighted the symptoms in the three stages of sepsis disease and indicated the symptom for each stage:
This is the first stage in the sickness. At this stage, when the symptoms are diagnosed the doctor should initiate treatment with immediate effect and there are high chances of the patient surviving. The patient may behave as I have indicated below:
The patient may have an increased heart rate mostly above 90 beats in one minute as opposed to the normal heart rate of 72 beats per minute. The patient experiences increased body temperatures of 101.1 degrees Farad. They may also experience reduced body temperature below the normal body temperature. The temperature can go as low as below 95 degrees Farad. The patient’s’ breathing rate also increases to above 20 breaths per minute.
Once you spot these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention because it is still early to save the situation and consulting a doctor immediately is very vital as it may help in preventing further infections and help save the situation from getting worse. However, for a doctor to conclude that you have sepsis, you must have displayed two or more of these symptoms.
This is the second stage in the infection and it is known as the severe stage
At this stage, the chances of successful treatment and survival are minimal but the patient’s life can still be saved. A person with stage two sepsis is likely to display the following symptoms:
Discolored skin patches are areas in the skin with a different skin color and they are spread irregularly. The patient also changes in their mental ability and often times get confused. This should not be taken as a normal memory lapse that comes with old age but it should be taken as a serious symptom to severe sepsis.
As a result of decreased body temperatures, the patient may be experience chills and start shaking. The patient may also experience decreased urination. The patient may also experience problems when breathing and extremely high heart rates. The patient may also experience severe stomach pains.
Low platelet count also known as thrombocytopenia is also a symptom of stage two sepsis. In this symptom, the blood is not able to form clots and in case of a cut, it is hard for bleeding to stop. At some instances, the victim may lose consciousness and not become aware of whatever is happening around them. The patient may also become extremely weak and lose strength in their muscles to a point where they cannot stand for too long or take a long distance walk.
The heart of the patient may also start to function abnormally like experiencing increased heart rates and faster or slower pumping of blood to the other parts of the body. In this scenario, if there is no sufficient supply of blood and oxygen to the other body organs, it may make one of the body organs to fail and if it is not checked well, it may lead to death.
It is not advisable to allow sepsis to reach the second stage. Once the first stage symptoms are diagnosed, it is vital to take action. However, if by bad luck the patient gets to stage two infection, it is good to seek for specialized medical treatment.
This stage is referred to as septic shock. This is the final stage in the sepsis disease infection. In this stage, the main symptom is very low blood pressure. This is extremely dangerous and it is considered as an emergency when one is taken to the hospital. In this stage, it is very hard for a patient to survive. All the symptoms of the second stage can also be very vivid in this stage.
According to statistics, sepsis is very common for seniors and it’s very dangerous to them because they are prone to many infections. Before the modern ICUs were put in place, sepsis patients used to succumb to the infection. In the recent past, the death rate has reduced from 50% to 25%. This is a great improvement. However, we still need to save elderly people from dying as a result of sepsis.
According to my research, I have come to a conclusion that most elderly people together with those who take care of them are not aware of sepsis and its signs and symptoms. The tips stated above will help elderly people or the ones taking care of them realize that they are at a risk of sepsis disease. If you spot any of them, immediately take medical action. We should focus on reducing the death rate from 25% to almost 0%. Therefore, share the article with friends and relatives and create awareness on the symptoms of sepsis. If you liked the article, give your feedback in the comments section below.