Sepsis and Wounds

How to Recognize When a Wound Becomes Septic
Cuts and scrapes can happen, even when the average individual least expects it, but they might be taking their wounds too much for granted. It is very important to understand that a simple wound, if not treated properly, can quickly turn serious. Sometimes the body causes an overwhelming reaction to an infection and the wound becomes septic.

Every year, more than a million people in the United States experience sepsis. Worse yet, 15-30% of sepsis patients die.

Whether it’s at work or even at home, a cut which isn’t properly cleaned can lead to bacteria and microorganisms taking shelter in their wounds. However, how do people know when their wounds should worry them?

When a wound becomes infected
For starters, we should all know what ignoring a fresh wound could lead to. The dangers of getting an infection, or when a wound becomes septic, can range from a problem that is easily dealt with to a possibly dangerous condition. The following is why we shouldn’t disregard wounds.

Best Case Scenario:
The person may only have an infected cut but they have to schedule an appointment with their doctor for some medication. While the cure for most infections is the use of antibiotics prescribed by a doctor and can set patients back a couple of dollars to buy, this situation isn’t always the case.

Possible Worst-Case Scenario:
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that affects over 30 million people a year around the world. It can occur in any age group and happens when an individual’s body reacts to an infection by triggering inflammatory responses which cause tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. This condition is only caused by infection and can be avoidable if taken the proper precautions.

Despite this, people still tend to disregard the outcomes of the common infection. Knowing what this can lead to, everyone should avoid situations like this from happening by being able to identify if there is a threat and take action before it gets worse.

Signs of Infection
Figuring out infections aren’t easy, but with the help of known symptoms, identifying possible conditions are easier. Everybody should be aware of the warning signs of infections before it becomes problematic and the following is a list of known symptoms which wound infections cause.

Cuts That Have Pus or Liquid
Infected wound tends to build up pus or fluid which is cloudy, green or foul smelling. However, many individuals address this issue by covering the area in wound dressing available at any drugstore. Doing this will not solve the problem and the individual should contact their doctor for ways to remedy the cause of the issue. A green/or foul-smelling pus is a sure sign of infection and you should contact your dotor.

Red Skin Around the Injury

This minor detail can be easily overlooked because it’s a common symptom of almost every wound. The cause of red skin as a sign of irritation to the skin can be hard to determine except if the individual considers time. Chances are if the discoloration continues, there is a high probability that it is an infected wound.

Swelling That Gets Worse After a Few Days
As with the previous symptom, swelling is also a common condition associated with wounds and becomes apparent by its duration. Treatment for this symptom is through ointments which a physician prescribes the patient upon checkup of the patient’s condition

A Pimple or Yellowish Crust on Top
The wound starts to dry and a crust starts forming on the outer layer of the wound caused from when a wound becomes septic. Another indication of when a wound becomes septic is the formation of pimples on or near the wounds.

Sores That Look like Blisters
Another symptom that might occur when a wound becomes septic is the formation of sores which look like pockets of fluid around the area. The licensed physician treats these painful sores when you schedule an appointment. It is easy sometimes to mistake these sores as normal blisters.

Pain That Gets Worse After a Few Days
If the pain experienced by the individual with these symptoms starts increasing over time, their condition may be getting worse and it is wise not to ignore the warning signs. Their condition won’t be getting any better without treatment by a doctor.

The Wound Hasn’t Healed
There’s nothing wrong with the wound but it looks like the same. If the individual’s wound hasn’t closed up after the duration of ten days, their wounds can be septic and they may be unaware of their current condition.

High Fever
When a wound becomes septic, individuals with them tend to have fevers. However, when they have a high temperature and the previous symptoms, the individual should go to a doctor. (Refer to the next section)

If the individual has these symptoms, there’s a high probability that their wounds have become septic. If they believe they have a septic wound, they should read the next chapter to know what they can do about it.

What to Do When the Wound Becomes Septic
In the event that the individual has the symptoms that were previously mentioned, they should visit a licensed practitioner or call a doctor right away to check the wound and find possible remedies especially if the individual has the following:

  • The temperature of 100.4 degrees and above
  • The pain is unbearable
  • The swelling and redness is spreading

If the above does not apply, then the individual should schedule a visit to a doctor in at least 24 hours from when the symptoms started. Although, the earlier the better is always applied in such situations.

Keep in mind that septic shock and severe cases of sepsis are both medical emergencies that require immediate professional attention. Patients can expect doctors to give them intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and oxygen.

Do not hesitate to head to the doctor. Septic shock, in particular, is a dangerous medical state. 6 out of 10 cases of septic shock prove fatal.

Stay Safe
Overall, it’s important that everyone understands what a septic wound can do and its risks of sepsis. To identify the tall tale signs of infection, check the individual for high fever, cuts with watery discharge or pus, the persistent red skin around the wound, and swelling.

If you think you or someone you know has an infected wound, don’t hesitate and seek immediate help.

Remember the signs of sepsis. Often people don’t even know they have an infection or indeed are septic.

Rory Staunton Foundation, Signs of sepsis, do you know the signs of sepsis?, Sepsis, Six signs of sepsis, Rory's Regulations