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Sepsis is largely unknown and very common

Sepsis is a leading cause of death for those who live in countries with the least level of development. From a global perspective, it happens more often than heart attacks and it more often leads to death than cancer.

In developing countries, though, it is largely unknown, especially when compared to things like cancer and heart disease, which get so much press. Some reports indicate that under 50 percent of the adults in a lot of countries have even heard of sepsis, much less know the risks that it can pose.

Sepsis is often called blood poisoning, and can happen when a person gets an infection and the body responds too violently in its efforts to stop the infection's spread. As a result of the response, blood vessels can begin to leak, blood can clot abnormally and there can be inflammation throughout the body. Organ damage can occur. In the worst cases, organs begin to fail, blood pressure plummets and septic shock sets in. When this happens, it can be deadly.

The issue is often triggered in medical facilities and hospitals. It can happen during invasive procedures and surgeries. It's been connected to things like appendicitis, cellulitis, urinary tract infections and pneumonia. When bacteria get into the blood, the initial issue can be compounded by a bout of sepsis.

Were you in a hospital and given improper care, causing you to develop sepsis when you originally came to the medical center for a much simpler ailment? If negligence was involved, you may be able to seek compensation to cover things like medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Source: World Sepsis Day, "Sepsis Facts," accessed Sep. 20, 2016

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