Sepsis: the cause of one in five deaths worldwide

Worldwide, sepsis is responsible for 11 million deaths each year. However, it is a pathology that we know how to control thanks to simple measures that must be generalized in the most affected countries.

Stepping up efforts to tackle sepsis

Sepsis is a disease caused by an infection. It can be cured if it is taken care of quickly, otherwise it is likely to lead to septic shock. This then leads to multi-organ failure and possibly the death of the patient. Those who survive may be disabled for life or die within a year.

So, according to theWorld Health Organization : « […]sepsis is the cause of 11 million deaths every year, many of them children. The condition also causes disability in millions of people.”

However, these tragedies are preventable. The knowledge concerning this pathology is good and should make it possible to anticipate the disease or to identify it in order to treat it quickly.

For Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO: “ […]there is a need to strengthen health information systems and ensure access to rapid diagnostic tools and quality care, including safe and affordable medicines and vaccines. »

Vulnerable populations more affected by sepsis

Low- and middle-income countries are more concerned with the problem of sepsis. Certain vulnerable populations are also more often affected by the disease. We are talking, for example, of pregnant women, people in financial difficulty or newborns and children. According to the WHO: “Almost half of the 49 million cases of sepsis each year occur in children, resulting in 2.9 million deaths, most of which could be prevented by early diagnosis and treatment. appropriate clinic.

In the richest countries, the toxic shock (one of the forms of septic shock) is also talked about, especially among women. Of the hygiene measures and a good use of intimate protections can however avoid the worst.

Finally, we know that the septic state is also often contracted in hospitals. Almost half of people with the disease in intensive care units caught it in hospital.

Towards better care

To avoid these millions of deaths or millions of handicapped people, it is important to act on several fronts. It is essential to improve sanitation facilities, allow better access to water, wash hands regularly…

Within health centres, staff must be fully trained in infection control methods and know how to rapidly diagnose sepsis. Finally, quality medicines and vaccines must be made available. These recommendations could “prevent up to 84% of newborn deaths from sepsis”.

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