How can I avoid getting sepsis?

Handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid sepsis, says Liz Rigney, RN, of HCA Englewood Community Hospital. Watch this video to learn more.
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.
Leigh Vinocur, MD
Emergency Medicine
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.

Continue Learning about Infectious Disease

Infectious Disease

Infectious Disease

Infections are caused by viruses, bacteria, mold and other organisms and lead to conditions like flu, chicken pox, pneumonia, sore throat, rashes, malaria and other ills. An infection occurs when these germs attack the body, causi...

ng it to respond with antibodies and white blood cells to defend itself. Preventing infectious disease involves eating a healthy diet, getting proper exercise to keep the body strong, and keeping clean by washing hands regularly.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.