World Sepsis Day is commemorated on 13 September, a medical emergency that, if not diagnosed and treated early, can cause irreversible tissue damage, septic shock, multiple organ failure and puts the life of the person who has it at risk.
This is a complication that occurs when the body produces an unbalanced and abnormal immune response to an infection. Every year, approximately 31 million people worldwide experience an episode of sepsis, of which 6 million die from sepsis.
Cecilia Luengo, sepsis specialist at the Chilean Society of Intensive Medicine, says Covid-19 itself can cause severe sepsis that leads to respiratory dysfunction. A patient with severely ill coronavirus could be complicated by overinfection by other microorganisms such as bacteria, with the possibility of developing dysfunction of different organs, such as renal dysfunction. In this context, the patient may need other medications and even increase their chances of dying.
«In Chile it is a very common complication because any serious infection can become sepsis. In fact, it is the most common cause of hospitalization in ICU both locally and globally. It is also the third leading cause of death in the world,» Luengo said.
In fact, for low- and middle-income countries, sepsis cases are higher and are considered to be one of the leading causes of maternal and neonatal death. «Despite the high numbers, it has been difficult to be able to make assessments of the burden of this disease worldwide due to its limitations in diagnosis and notification,» she says.
In view of these statistics, it is important to raise awareness of clinical manifestations of sepsis in the community and improve the capacities of early detection. These are some of the most important current challenges in the prevention and treatment of sepsis.