Healthy Living

Tips on Living with Sepsis

Tips on Living with Sepsis

Key Takeaways

  • Sepsis is better treated in a hospital, as it can't be treated with natural remedies
  • The rate of sepsis recovery is dependent on the seriousness of the disease 
  • Sepsis treatments differ and depend on the location and source of the initial illness

Living with sepsis doesn’t translate to the absence of issues in adults who become intellectually impaired and later become physically disabled.

Some of the long-lasting effects of sepsis are obvious, such as missing limbs or organ dysfunction, like kidney failure. How long it takes for the body’s organs to begin working properly again varies widely among people. Other after effects of sepsis are less obvious, such as memory loss or the inability to do simple arithmetic.

Post Sepsis Syndrome (PSS) is a batch of issues that are experienced by patients who suffer from acute sepsis for a long time while they are being rehabilitated.

As observed by health experts, these problems, which can take up to two years to resolve, are caused by the effects of any acute illness and time spent in an intensive care unit. Sepsis has the potential to cause issues that are undetectable for some weeks. For example, recurring illness in the course of rehabilitation may occur.

It is paramount to note that not all people suffer post-acute illness issues. The rate of sepsis recovery is dependent on the seriousness of the disease and the person’s health before the disease.

The problems are categorized as physical and emotional.

Physical:

  • Lethargy / extreme tiredness
  • Poor movement / muscle weakness
  • Breathlessness / chest pains
  • Inflamed limbs (excessive fluid in the tissues)
  • Joint pains
  • Sleeplessness (or breathlessness due to pain)
  • Dry/flaking skin and nails
  • Changes of taste
  • Appetite loss
  • Vision changes
  • Low sensation in limbs
  • Hair loss
  • Recurring infections

 

Psychological and emotional:

  • Anxiety/fear of sepsis repeating
  • Depression
  • Throwbacks
  • Incubus
  • Sleeplessness (due to stress or fear)
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Poor concentration
  • Temporary loss of memory

Very few sepsis survivors get infections during their treatment period, which sometimes may take a few years. The illnesses may manifest as more moderate forms of the initial sepsis or as illnesses beginning in their other body parts. They need frequent antibiotic treatment, which can wear them both physically and mentally.

It takes a maximum of 18 months to be fully recovered or almost recovered. Talk to care staff at a follow-up clinic. They will suggest the effective remedies. 

Sepsis can do a lot of harm to your body. From shutting down the body’s organs to causing blood clots that block the flow of blood, sometimes the damage is irreparable.

With sepsis, the blood’s clotting mechanism can go into overdrive and cause blockages inside the blood vessels. When blood can’t pass through the blood vessels, oxygen and vital nutrients can’t get to the body’s tissues. If the tissues can’t get the nourishment they need, the tissues die.

When too much of the tissue dies, it has to be removed. Sometimes, doctors can remove just a small part, but, other times, more drastic measures must be taken, and parts of the body must be amputated.

For some people, amputations are limited to their fingers or toes, or parts of them. Others, however, may need amputations of their hands, feet, arms, or legs, all in an effort to save their lives.

Sepsis Treatment

Sepsis treatments differ and depend on the location and source of the initial illness, affected organs, and the level of the damages.

If you show possible early signs of sepsis, you'll be referred to hospital for a checkup and treatment. Severe sepsis and septic shock are life-threatening.

After hospital admission, sepsis is managed by using three treatments and three tests, referred to as the sepsis six. They must begin within one hour of diagnosis.

Treatment includes:

  • Administering antibiotics in case of early confirmation of sepsis
  • Administering fluids intravenously
  • Administering oxygen in case of low levels

The treatment description below provides more details.

Tests include:

  • Blood cultures to determine the bacteria type causing sepsis
  • Blood sampling to evaluate sepsis stage
  • Urine output monitoring to assess acuteness and kidney activity

Emergency treatment

You may be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) or need emergency hospital treatment if:

  • The sepsis is acute
  • You develop septic shock caused by dangerously low blood pressure levels 

Four out of ten severely affected people by acute sepsis are likely to die of their important organs’ problems. Septic shock fatality rate is higher at approximately six out of ten people dying. 

If confirmed and treated early, sepsis is fully curable.

Post-sepsis syndrome must be recognized by the doctors and other healthcare professionals who care for sepsis survivors so that patients can be directed to the proper resources. Resources may include referrals for emotional and psychological support (counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, or neuropsychiatric assessment) or for physical support, such as physical therapy or neuro-rehabilitation.

The patient never feels safe after the sepsis treatment, hospitalization, and amputation of any limb. Every time a small thing out of the routine happens, the first question that comes to their mind is: do I need to go and get admitted to the hospital?

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are the main treatment for sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock.

Antibiotics are administered directly into a vein if you have severe sepsis and septic shock. Treatment by antibiotic ought to begin within an hour of diagnosis to lower the threat of acute problems or death.

Typically, tablets replace intravenous antibiotics after 2 to 4 days. Depending on the severity of your condition, you must take them for at least seven days.

Patients who had sepsis and underwent long term hospitalization and possibly amputation undergo a lot of stress after they are discharged from the hospital and go home. Extreme care is needed by the family members once they are home to make them feel safe, loved, and cared for. Loss of memory, impaired speech, and fear of being left alone are some indicators to see what the patient is going through. With amputation of a limb, it is more difficult for the patient to feel safe, even if they are at home surrounded by family members and in a familiar place. They would need all the support and care to be given to them unconditionally. At the earliest, the amputated limb needs to be replaced with an artificial one and constant love and concern needs to be shown by all. They would have to be made to feel that they are a part of the family, and the family members are there to take care of them. Repeated hospitalization may be needed for these patients. Along with the fear, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can start, which can hinder their movements too.

Extreme care is to be provided for the next 2-3 years after the sepsis treatment and amputation to make the patients feel safe and continue with their life peacefully.