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Monday, June 3, 2013
  Clinical Accuracy Spoken Here  

Sepsis: In a Nutshell

  • Sepsis begins when an infection enters the bloodstream.
  • Sepsis has increased significantly over the past two decades with unremarkable progress in the development of effective therapeutics.
  • Due to the diversity of causal microbial agents, its pathogenesis as well as laboratory and clinical hallmarks are not uniformly established.
  • Immune chemicals released into the blood trigger widespread inflammation resulting in impaired blood flow, damaging the body's organs by depriving them of nutrients
  • In severe cases, one or more organs fail.
  • The immune system response may, in itself, kill the patient while trying to destroy the infection.

[Reference: Sepsis, Module B, Pathophysiology and Assessment]

  Excellence in Case Mgmt  

Sepsis: Why is General
Awareness So Low?

Sepsis can be a vague term indicative of conditions which may be referred to by many causes and many names. An intensivist might define sepsis as an infection with some degree of organ failure and concomitant conditions such as hypotension, encephalopathy and renal failure. These concepts are not easy for laypersons or even some physicians to grasp. Are there any other reasons for lack of general awareness? Would public education about infections and sepsis contribute to prevention? Clearly, more research is warranted.

[Reference: Sepsis, Module E, CM Role]

  Improving Patient Care...  

Sepsis and Diabetes:
Perplexing Data

Clinical studies find a higher susceptibility for diabetic patients to acquire infections. But the prognosis is unclear.

Confounding clinical data show both a harmful association between diabetes and mortality and no association or even a protective effect.

Future research should focus on diabetes as a syndrome, to better understand the complex interplay of diabetes and sepsis in humans considering factors such as:

  • Hyperglycemia
  • Obesity
  • Secondary micro- and macro-vascular complications
  • Insulin therapy
  • Endothelial dysfunction

[Reference: Sepsis, Module C, Sources and Predispositions]


Tom RasmussenTom Rasmussen
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