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This leads to more deaths than many cancers and traffic accidents combined

Do you already know sepsis? It may sound a bit like a character from a medieval regional novel or the name of a house adder, but it is something completely different. And it is time for many more people to get to know it, doctors say.

Corona patients who become seriously ill after being infected often also appear to have sepsis. But another infection with a virus, a bacteria, a fungus or another germ can also lead to sepsis.

World Sepsis Day

And that it is on the medical agenda worldwide, as is clear from World Sepsis Day, this Sunday. This year, there is especially a call for sepsis to be shared on social media, because more publicity is needed. “Every 2.8 seconds, someone dies of sepsis,” the Twitter page of @WorldSepsisDay.

Tweets by WorldSepsisDay

Lots of deaths

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in ICU wards, but the condition is known to only one in three Dutch people. That is why sepsis experts from different hospitals have been commissioned by the Ministry of Health along with former patients Foundation SepsisNet The Netherlands established.

Sepsis is popularly known as blood poisoning. It is a seriously disrupted immune response of the body to a pathogen such as a virus or bacteria. This reaction reduces the function of the organs. In the Netherlands, approximately 35,000 patients contract sepsis every year, of which about 10,000 patients end up in intensive care.


Anyone who heals keeps physical and mental complaints for a long time, from which some of the patients still die, says intensivist Peter Pickkers of the Radboudumc in Nijmegen, chairman of SepsisNet Netherlands. For example, shortness of breath and concentration problems are common, while the chance of a new infection is also much greater.

According to Pickkers, many patients fail to recognize the symptoms of sepsis, and prompt treatment is essential. They want to do something about it. “The condition causes more deaths per year than breast cancer, prostate cancer and road accidents combined. Anyone with an infection should therefore be on the lookout for rapid breathing or heart rate, abnormal temperature, confusion or drowsiness together with a severe feeling of flu. ” Babies and young children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases or reduced immunity are most at risk.

The Radboudumc, UMC Groningen, UMC Utrecht and the Gelderse Vallei hospital are collaborating on SepsisNet Nederland.

Also read: Wendy’s story about her sweet complicated bonus son with FASD

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This leads to more deaths than many cancers and traffic accidents combined


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