As we approach the peak of flu season, local doctors are warning people the flu can lead to sepsis, which can be deadly.
Dr. Jennifer Chapman is in charge of the Emergency Room at Orange Park Medical Center.
She said since the flu season started last October, they’ve also seen an increase in sepsis.
“During flu season the flu, is a big trigger for developing pneumonia, which can turn into sepsis, which is a very serious infection,” said Chapman.
Doctors showed us a sign used to educate people on sepsis. It shows well-known people who have had it, like Pope John Paul II, Mohammad Ali and Brittany Murphy.
“Sepsis is life-threatening. Approximately one-third of patients who are diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock actually die,” said Chapman.
Sepsis is a complication that can result from any infection, not just the flu.
The symptoms include changes in mental status, confusion, difficulty breathing and severe lethargy.
“Inability to wake up a patient, things like that are very concerning for early warning signs of sepsis,” said Chapman.
The Orange Park Medical Center said it’s thanks to their efforts in educating patients that they’ve been able to keep mortality rates for sepsis patients below 30 percent.
Now, every patient who gets surgery at the hospital or is treated for an infection gets a one page information sheet called the sepsis self-management plan. The sheet helps people watch for warning signs and lets them know when they need to call a doctor.
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