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The Four Signs That Could Save Your Life from Sepsis
General Wellness

The Four Signs That Could Save Your Life from Sepsis

By Dr. Dale Criner and Dr. Shailesh Patel
Posted: September 21, 2023

September is Sepsis Awareness Month, and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is on a mission to educate everyone about the causes of sepsis and what symptoms to look out for in yourself and your loved ones.

As the leading cause of death worldwide, sepsis kills roughly 11 million people each year. After reading this article, you’ll be able to identify four symptoms that require immediate medical care if you or a loved one are experiencing them.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis can occur in anyone with an infection, such as urinary tract infections, flu virus, COVID-19, skin infections or gastrointestinal infections. Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. In severe cases, sepsis leads to tissue damage, organ failure and death. About one percent of sepsis patients will need amputations – accounting for about 38 amputations daily. 

Who Can Get Sepsis?

Anyone who has an infection can acquire sepsis, however, some groups are more likely to be affected, such as young children, older adults and those who are immunocompromised.

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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis?

The signs and symptoms of sepsis are the most important pieces of knowledge you can take away from this blog. If there is one thing to remember after reading this article, it’s T.I.M.E. This simple acronym can help you identify if you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms or exhibiting signs of sepsis. A person could have one or all of the below symptoms:

T Temperature

  • Your temperature is higher or lower than normal.

 Infection

  • You’re showing signs and symptoms of an infection, including fatigue, muscle aches, and fever. (Remember, just because you don’t have a fever – doesn’t mean you’re not septic.)

M Mental Decline

  • You are confused, anxious, unusually sleepy or difficult to rouse.

E Extremely Sick

  • You are experiencing severe pain, discomfort or shortness of breath. Many with sepsis say they feel the sickest they have ever felt, with an impending sense of doom.


If you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to seek medical attention immediately. When you meet with your medical expert, ask, “Could it be sepsis?”

Acting quickly when you suspect sepsis is critical because the risk of death increases by four to nine percent every hour that treatment is delayed. Give yourself and your loved one the best chance at survival by remembering T.I.M.E.

Learn more about Emergency Services at each of our locations, including wait times. 

 



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