Thursday, January 16, 2020

One in five deaths due to sepsis

11 million people a year are dying from sepsis (blood poisoning) - more than are killed by cancer. There are 49 million cases a year.

Prof Mohsen Naghavi said: "We are alarmed to find sepsis deaths are much higher than previously estimated, especially as the condition is both preventable and treatable."
"I've worked in rural Uganda, and sepsis is what we saw every single day," said researcher, assistant professor Kristina Rudd. "My colleagues treating patients on the ground in low- and middle-income countries every day have been saying this for years, that sepsis is a major problem."
Sepsis is also known as the "hidden killer" because it can be so hard to detect. It is caused by the immune system going into over-drive. Instead of just fighting an infection, it starts attacking other parts of the body too. Ultimately it causes organ failure. Even survivors can be left with long-term damage and disability. Bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhoeal infections or lung diseases are the leading triggers of sepsis. 
The overwhelming majority of cases (85%) are in low- and middle- income countries. Children were most at risk with four in 10 cases in children under the age of five.
But even in the UK, sepsis is a challenge. The death rate is higher than in countries such as Spain, France and Canada. There are around 48,000 deaths from sepsis in the UK each year.

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