I'm a doctor – here’s 5 signs of a killer infection that mean you need to call 999
A DOCTOR has revealed the five signs of a killer infection that mean you need to get help right away.
Dr Mohan Sekeram, who issues health tips on TikTik, said these symptoms are a red flag and need immediate attention.
He explained if any adult or child has these signs of sepsis they need to go to A&E or get help through 999.
Sepsis happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body's tissue and organs.
Dr Sekeram said: "Red flags of sepsis: acting confused, slurred speech or not making sense.
"Blue, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue.
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"Difficulty breathing, breathlessness or breathing very fast.
"Fever or shivering, or feeling very cold.
"Clammy or sweaty skin.
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The condition is always triggered by an infection – but it is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person.
Most often the culprit is an infection we all recognise – pneumonia, urinary infections (UTIs), skin infections, including cellulitis, and infections in the stomach, for example appendicitis.
Typically, when a person suffers a minor cut, the area surrounding the wound will become red, swollen and warm to touch.
This is evidence the body's immune system has kicked into action, releasing white blood cells to the site of the injury to kill off the bacteria causing the infection.
When sepsis happens, this system goes into overdrive.
The inflammation that is typically seen just around the minor cut, spreads through the body, affecting healthy tissue and organs.
The immune system – the body's defence mechanism – overreacts and the result is it attacks the body.
It can lead to organ failure and septic shock, which can prove fatal.
Sepsis is a condition that fails to discriminate – it can affect old and young, those who lead healthy lives and those who don't.
As with many life-threatening illnesses, the most vulnerable are newborns, young children and the elderly, as well as anyone with a weakened immune system.
Though it can affect us all, men are more susceptible than women, black people are more at risk than white, and the very young and very old are more likely to be affected than any other age group.
Those people battling diabetes, Aids, kidney or liver disease are also at greater risk due to their weakened immune systems.
And pregnant women and people who have suffered severe burns or physical injury are more likely to fall victim to the life-threatening condition.
If you suspect you or a loved one are suffering sepsis it must be treated as a medical emergency.
Think of the reaction you would have to a heart attack, stroke or major car crash – dial 999.
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A person's chances of surviving sepsis are highly dependent on their getting medical intensive care as soon as possible.
The longer it takes to receive medical care the more likely it is a patient will die.
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