Be Aware of the Risk of Sepsis

Clinical Practice; Programs and Resources; Long Term Care

September is Sepsis Awareness Month. Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a medical emergency, and without timely treatment, can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Long term care residents are at increased risk for sepsis due to their older age and chronic conditions.  
Sepsis can be hard to diagnose in any setting, in particular in long term care, due to the intensive testing and monitoring needed. In addition, the common subtle signs and symptoms can easily be confused with the normal aging process. However, sepsis develops quickly and, if not treated early, can cause irreversible damage, including death. With fast recognition and treatment, however, most residents survive. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed several resources that may be helpful to long term care providers. 

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