Sepsis: The Body’s Deadly Response to Infection

Although not as well-known as other medical conditions, sepsis kills more people in the United States than AIDS, breast cancer, or prostate cancer combined. Sepsis is body-wide inflammation, usually triggered by an overwhelming immune response to infection. Though doctors and medical staff are well-aware of the condition—it is involved in 1 in 10 hospital deaths—the condition is notoriously hard to diagnose. In this video, sepsis expert Sarah Dunsmore, a program director with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), describes what sepsis is and how to recognize it, what kinds of patients are most at risk, and what NIGMS is doing to reduce the impact of this deadly condition.

3 comments on “Sepsis: The Body’s Deadly Response to Infection

  1. I found this very interesting & somewhat disconcerting.
    The video says, early treatment is important to recovery, yet it’s hard to diagnose.
    Is there any way to create a blood test to diagnose this disease?

  2. I do not understand WHY it’s so hard.  I’m not a scientist or doctor, though I do feel there is some kind of blood test they could create, place it on the FIRST panel of blood tests they run.  Even if it’s as simple as looking at the blood under a microscope.  Seems to me a microscopic view would tell you if the white blood cells are attacking healthy red blood cells.

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