Watch for complications from the flu

by | January 26, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: January 23, 2019 at 12:55 pm

As flu season is heading into peak season, Colleton Medical Center is spreading awareness around sepsis, the body’s overwhelming response to an infection. Viral illnesses such as the flu, can sometimes trigger sepsis. For some, influenza (the flu) can cause pneumonia, which is a common cause of sepsis.
History shows as many as one in three people diagnosed with sepsis pass away from their illness, and those who survive can be left with chronic symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss or difficulties with activities of daily living. In extreme cases, sepsis can lead to amputation or organ dysfunction.
“It is very important that our community understands the signs and symptoms of sepsis and the importance of seeking emergency medical help as soon as those signs and symptoms are recognized,” says Dr. Chris Corbit, MD, FACEP, medical director of the Colleton Emergency Department. “Sepsis is a medical emergency that needs to be treated with antibiotics, intravenous fluids and other medications that improve survival of this highly deadly disease.”
While low grade fever and mild weakness may occur with any infection, the following symptoms are warning signs of sepsis and should be taken seriously. If someone experiences two or more of these symptoms it is recommended that they seek medical attention.
• Shivering, fever or feeling cold
• Extreme pain or general discomfort (“feeling the worst pain ever”)
• Pale or discolored skin
• Severe sleepiness, difficulty waking or confusion
• “I feel like I might die” feeling
• Shortness of breath
Dr. Corbit says the best way to avoid sepsis during flu season is to practice good hand hygiene, rest and let your body recover if you feel ill. If you come down with the flu, stay hydrated, rest and, most importantly, get your flu vaccination.
Colleton Medical Center is certified by the Joint Commission for Sepsis Care.

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