Sepsis Education & Awareness Event

Sepsis is the third leading cause of death in the United States, but few Americans know the signs and symptoms. McLaren Northern Michigan is looking to change that.

On Wednesday, September 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the John & Marnie Demmer Wellness Pavilion and Dialysis Center, located at 820 Arlington Avenue in Petoskey, the community is invited to learn about this often preventable and treatable condition to help save a life.

Created by Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading sepsis organization, the presentation not only educates attendees on the signs and symptoms of sepsis, but aims to engage and connect attendees on a personal level. For more information, please visit

What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening response to an infection. Without the right treatment, sepsis can cause organ failure, amputation, and death. More than 1.7 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with sepsis every year – that’s one person every 20 seconds. Thousands of lives can be saved each year by simply raising awareness of its symptoms. Early recognition and treatment are key.

Who is at risk?

Anyone with an infection can become septic. The risks are higher in babies, young children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and those who suffer from a severe burn, wound, diabetes, AIDS, cancer, and kidney or liver disease.

What are the symptoms?

Remember that with sepsis TIME matters when identifying symptoms.
Temperature – higher or lower than normal
Infection – May have signs and symptoms of an infection
Mental decline – confused, sleepy, difficult to rouse
Extremely ill – “I feel like I might die,” severe pain or discomfort

How is sepsis diagnosed?
Physicians diagnose sepsis through a number of symptoms such as fever, increased heart rate, and increased breathing. They will also do lab tests that check for signs of infection. Many symptoms of sepsis are the same as seen with other conditions the patient may have, which can make sepsis hard to diagnose in the early stages.

How is sepsis treated?
People with sepsis are usually treated in the hospital with antibiotics. In many cases, patients receive oxygen and IV fluids to help with blood oxygen levels and blood pressure. In severe cases, a breathing machine, kidney dialysis, or even surgical removal of infected tissue is necessary.

What can you do to prevent or detect sepsis?
• Get vaccinated against the flu, pneumonia, and any other infection that can lead to sepsis. Talk to your provider for more information.
• Prevent infections that can lead to sepsis by cleaning scrapes and wounds, and washing or sanitizing your hands routinely.
• If you have an infection, look for the signs of sepsis.
• If signs of sepsis are present, call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. This is a medical emergency.
• It is important to say, “I am concerned about sepsis.”