Muhammad Ali – Sepsis can claim even “the Greatest” among us

Muhammad Ali, Sepsis, Septic Shock, The Greatest,

New York, N.Y.: We were greatly saddened to hear of the death of Muhammad Ali from sepsis on Friday. He was an inspiration to millions around the world for his fearlessness, both inside the ring and out. At profound personal cost, he followed his conscience and his convictions and, through his actions and his poetic and passionate words, he became a hero to the oppressed, the disenfranchised, and to all those believe in the inviolability of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Muhammad Ali had been afflicted with Parkinson’s disease for more than thirty years. He died of septic shock, stemming from respiratory problems. Sepsis is far more likely to be deadly in older individuals suffering from chronic illness and, indeed, sepsis will always prove fatal in certain cases. However, it seems fitting that in his cause of death, Ali has once again given the world knowledge and power: By naming sepsis as the cause of death, millions will be educated about the condition, which is the leading cause of death for infants and children globally and kills between 250,000 and 500,000 Americans annually. The majority of these deaths are preventable, the high mortality rate a result of low public awareness of the condition and its symptoms and poor diagnosis and treatment practices in hospitals.

Below are the signs of sepsis. Please seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms and ask your doctor, “Could it be sepsis?”

– rapid heart rate
– fever and chills
– difficult or rapid breathing
– pale or mottled skin
– weakness, confusion, lethargy
– muscle pain
– low urine output
– “I feel like I might die”