Online Originals: World Sepsis Day, knowing the signs and symptoms could save someone’s life

Health Watch

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — September 13 is World Sepsis Day. Sepsis occurs when your body has an overwhelming response to some type of local infection. It can lead to organ failure, amputation, and even death.

Medical professionals at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern are raising awareness for what they say is a condition that does not get enough attention. Staff at CarolinaEast made signs and posters, using the #FightAgainstSepsis and #WorldSepsisDay.

Facts about Sepsis:

  • Sepsis is a global health crisis.
  • Every 2.8 seconds, someone around the world dies from Sepsis, affecting between 47 and 50 million people every year.
  • 20% of all deaths worldwide are associated with Sepsis
  • Many surviving patients suffer from the consuquences of Sepsis for the rest of their lives.

Sepsis is caused by an infection, most often bacteria, but it can also be caused by fungi, viruses, and parasites. It can also be caused by infections like the seasonal flu.

Maybe you have a cut on your foot, and that’s showing as red, a little bit warm, you may be getting a fever, and then your whole body completely responds to that and that’s when Sepsis comes into play and it goes throughout your whole body.

Katie Buck, Emergency Services Clinical Nurse Specialist from CarolinaEast Medical Center

Katie Buck, Emergency Services Clinical Nurse Specialist from CarolinaEast Medical Center says you can use an acronym to break down the symptoms of Sepsis; T.I.M.E.

  • T– Temperature, whether your temperature is much higher or lower than normal, that can be a sign of Sepsis.
  • I – Infection, if you notice discoloring or obvious signs of an infection.
  • M – Mental Status, feeling confused or in a mental haze.
  • E – Extreme Discomfort, muscle main, body aches, hot and cold chills. gives some additional symptoms to be aware of:


Buck said it’s vital to know the signs and symptoms because the longer a patient goes without treatment of Sepsis, the more deadly the outcome becomes.

“The longer you wait to receive treatments like antibiotics, the mortality rate goes up 8% each hour treatment is delayed,” Buck said.

Anyone can get Sepsis, but some are at higher risk than others. Children under the age of 1 and adults over 60 are some of the most at-risk for contracting Sepsis. People with no spleen, those with chronic diseases having to do with the heart, liver, or lungs and those with weakened immune systems such as people dealing with AIDS or Diabetes.

Buck and other medical professionals at CarolinaEast say spreading awareness can help save lives, in what medical experts say is the number one preventable death worldwide.

Stopping infection before it even occurs is the best line of action. Actions like washing your hands frequently, vaccinating against preventable viruses and diseases, having access to safe childbirth practices, access to clean water and preventing hospital-acquired infections through safe medical practices. And of course, the big one is awareness.

Many people who get Sepsis experience long-haul symptoms after they leave the hospital. Buck said up to 50% of people with Sepsis have complications after leaving the hospital.


Buck also said the goal is not to alarm or worry people but to keep them safe.

“People really need to listen to their bodies and don’t second guess themselves,” Buck said.

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