There are many complications that can come with the flu, but one of the most serious is sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection. Any kind of infection (including the flu) can cause sepsis.; When sepsis occurs, it is considered a medical emergency and must be treated immediately. According to the Sepsis Alliance, doctors have found that sepsis and severe sepsis rates tend to go up during flu season. Here is what you need to know about what sepsis is and preventing both flu and sepsis caused by flu infection.
In the early stages, sepsis can mimic flu symptoms. These can include tiredness, fever, and feeling weak and achy muscles. This can make recognizing sepsis challenging. However, as sepsis develops, there are many signs that point to something else happening in the body–a racing heart, cold hands and feet, slurred speech, and shortness of breath can all be signs of sepsis. If you or a loved one develops any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, as every minute counts when diagnosing sepsis.
Many of the family stories we publish include accounts of those who were diagnosed with the flu first and then developed sepsis. To be prepared and informed, you can review a full list of sepsis symptoms on the CDC website.
Treatment & Prevention
If sepsis is diagnosed early, there are treatment options. The key is to act fast. If your medical provider suspects sepsis, they will act immediately to make a proper diagnosis. Blood tests, lab tests, and/or x-rays and MRIs will help diagnose sepsis.
Once diagnosed, doctors will most likely give intravenous antibiotics to help fight the infection. To help avoid becoming dangerously ill with sepsis, there are a few steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy:
The annual flu vaccine is the best way to help prevent the flu and avoid potential sepsis infection due to the flu. Remember, it is never too late to get the flu vaccine!
Seek immediate care if signs and symptoms are present.
By educating yourself and those around you about the risk of flu and sepsis, you can help save lives. For more information, please watch the ‘Sepsis and Flu’ webinar, co-hosted with the Sepsis Alliance.
You might also be interested in...
Flu Essentials: Navigating the Influenza Season with Confidence Part I
Going Home for the Holidays? Flu Prevention is Key to Ensure Your Family is Protected
When to Bring Your Child Into the Emergency Room for Flu
You are required to accept all of the terms and conditions in this License Agreement in order to receive a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU, INC. logo, displayed below (the “FFF Logo”), from Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (“FFF”). In order to accept these terms and conditions, you must click the “I Accept” button below.
FFF hereby grants to you, and you accept, a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FFF Logo, which you may download and use solely in online and print earned media publications for a period of no more than six (6) months in the United States.
You acknowledge that the FFF Logo is a valid trademark; that FFF is the sole owner of the FFF Logo; and that FFF retains all right, title, and interest in and to the FFF Logo. You agree that any and all use that you make of the FFF Logo, and any and all goodwill arising from your use of the FFF Logo, shall inure exclusively to the benefit of FFF. You also agree that you shall not challenge the validity of the FFF Logo or FFF’s ownership or title thereto during the term of the License Agreement or thereafter.
You agree that you shall use the FFF Logo only in the form shown above, and that you shall not alter, modify, change, or edit the FFF Logo in any manner.
You acknowledge the valuable goodwill and reputation in the FFF Logo, and that it is essential that the high standards and reputation associated with the FFF Logo be maintained. You therefore agree to use the FFF Logo consistent with the highest standards of quality so as to protect and maintain the FFF Logo and FFF’s rights therein.
FFF shall have the right to review and inspect your use of the FFF Logo at any time. FFF, in its sole discretion, may determine that you are not using the FFF Logo in an acceptable manner and require that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo. To the extent that FFF requires that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo, you agree that you shall remove the FFF Logo from all online and print earned media publications as soon as practicable under the circumstances, and that you shall not use the FFF at any time in the future.
You must include the following notice in connection with any use of the FFF Logo: “The Families Fighting Flu, Inc. logo is the registered trademark of Families Fighting Flu, Inc.”