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What Are the Symptoms of Sepsis?

This is probably the most important thing you need to know!

  Please commit this to memory. These are the basic signs and symptoms of sepsis everyone should know. It was given to me by my friend, Dr.Tom Ahrens from Saint Louis. It could save you or a loved ones life!



    REMEMBER :  TPR  ( as nurses call it ). Be concerned if;  


         Temperature: higher that 101 degrees or lower than 97     

       Pulse:               above 90 beats per minute ( bpm)

       Respirations:  above 20 breaths per minute



You only need a thermometer and a watch with a second hand to measure these.   Using a blood pressure cuff also is something to track and share with your healthcare providers. 


 If you have 2 of 3 of these, along with an infection, trauma or the flu; call your doctor or go to the ER. Tell everyone ; "You are concerned about sepsis and would like to be tested for it. Might be a good time to ask if the hospital has a sepsis protocol?  SPEAK UP respectfully.





I have this printed on the back of my business cards and you need this on your refrigerator:

TPR  =  elevated Temperature, Pulse and Respirations plus an infection, may indicate early sepsis?? 

   Though not as simple as Dr. Ahrens,  I also coined a mnemonic, a memory aid using letters, to help lay people know the signs and symptoms of sepsis: U C The Bugs Run Home. You can use it for yourself, to measure how ill you are, or for your loved ones around you. You may need to teach others about what to check for, also.


      Many people who survive sepsis say that when they became ill, they felt the sickest they had ever felt before: like the worst flu they ever had, the worst sore throat, and so on. Many say that all they wanted to do was go to bed and try to sleep it away. Of course, feeling that bad doesn't always mean you have sepsis because these symptoms can be signs of other illnesses. However, if you have had any kind of infection, like a urinary tract infection ( UTI ), the flu,  a cut, or if you have swelling or redness, plus two or more of the signs listed below, you need to get medical attention as soon as possible. You need to say to everyone in the hospital or your doctor's office, "I am concerned about sepsis." Ask, "can you test me for sepsis?"  Be respectfully persistent!  Speak up! Ask questions!


I can not stress enough how important it is to ask questions and share your deep concern!

                                 U C The Bugs Run Home



Take the first letter of this statement to outline the list of sepsis symptoms.


  U  =   Urine output low

   C  =   Confusion, chills, losing conciousness

   T  =   Temperature - it could be high (a fever), over 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.5 Celsius), or lower  than normal,  below 97 degrees (36 Celsius)

   B  =   Blood pressure - it could be high (hypertensive) or low (hypotensive)

   R  =   Rash on your skin; rapid Respirations - above 20 breaths per minute

   H  =  Heart rate - over 90 beats per minute




 Please write this down. Post it on your refrigerator. Share it with your friends and loved ones.  Please get the Sepsis Watch App to everyone you care about.


You have an 80% chance of survival if you have sepsis that is recognized and treated within the first hour. Every hour of delay in appropriate treatment decreases your chance of survival and increases the chances of you losing some or all of your limbs - if you do survive.  Every hour of delay of not getting antibiotics and fluids increases your chance of dying by 8%. So if you wait 6 hours your chance of surviving is only 30%.


Go to this link ( coming )for information how to take these measurements. Tools needed are; thermometer, blood pressure cuff and watch with seconds displayed.



Here is another mnemonic from the UK Sepsis Trust:

Use which ever you like, but KNOW ONE OF THEM WELL  !


 Your or a loved ones life may depend on it.


   If you ever needcoaching or in a crisis, you can call me.

 Consult your physician first though.



Carl Flatley DDS MSD  727-460-7765,

Tampa Bay, Florid

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