Question

Infectious Disease

How can I avoid getting sepsis?

A Answers (3)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    The best way to avoid getting sepsis is to get vaccinated against many of the infectious diseases that can cause sepsis or make it worse, such as pneumonia. When you're in the hospital, make sure that your visitors and all healthcare providers who come near you wash their hands with sanitizer before they touch you or any medical equipment.

    A surgical center might have less of the very bad germs hanging around. Surgeons often favor a lower-intensity site for many simple procedures—as long as the surgeon has admitting privileges to a high-powered center (a really good hospital) if something doesn't go just right.
  • You are at a higher risk for sepsis when you have a weak immune system. If your immune system is not strong enough to fight bacteria, an infection could form, which could possibly lead to sepsis. Keeping yourself healthy and immune system strong is a good way to prevent sepsis from occurring. Avoiding hospitals is another smart way to prevent sepsis. Since newborns are still strengthening their immune system, they are especially at risk for neonatal sepsis. There are antibiotics to prevent neonatal sepsis, which pregnant mothers can take if they have a bad infection at the time of their pregnancy or they have previously birthed an infant that contracted sepsis.
  • ALeigh Vinocur, MD, Emergency Medicine, answered
    Any infection has the potential to get worse and make you septic. Some tips that may help:
    • Take all infections seriously.
    • Make sure you quickly treat any potential infection.
    • Take all your prescribed antibiotics until finished or consult your doctor to see if you must finish them.
    • Don’t ignore any warning signs -- you know yourself better than anyone else!
    • If you feel you are getting worse or developing worse of severe pain while on antibiotics, immediately go to the ER.
    • Be your own advocate and don’t be afraid to ask questions and challenge the doctor!
    • If you really don’t feel comfortable, seek a second opinion.
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How can I avoid getting sepsis?