September is nationally recognized as Sepsis Awareness Month, and this year, we’re highlighting a life-saving technology that helps catch sepsis sooner — saving more lives.
What is sepsis?
Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening response to infection that affects at least 1.7 million adults in America each year and can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death. When sepsis occurs, the key to survival is early recognition and aggressive treatment — that’s where Parkridge Health comes in.
As part of HCA Healthcare, Parkridge Health hospitals utilize sepsis prediction and optimization of therapy (SPOT) technology to identify sepsis in its earliest stages and treat the infection before it becomes life-threatening. SPOT continuously monitors vital signs, lab results, nursing reports and other data that can inform treatment and recognizes critical data points in a patient’s electronic health record. SPOT can quickly alert care teams to important, often subtle, changes in a patient’s condition so they can act.
“Most importantly, this technology saves lives,” said Dr. Tim Grant, chief medical officer for Parkridge Health. “The symptoms of sepsis can be similar to many other illnesses, which makes it challenging to diagnose in an early stage. The SPOT algorithm is designed to notice those subtle changes so our care teams can respond faster with potentially life-saving treatment.”
How to catch sepsis
Sepsis can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. However, knowing the signs and symptoms of sepsis is still important so you can act immediately if you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one. These symptoms could all be signs of a sepsis infection:
- High heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
In addition, people with weakened immune systems, chronic medical conditions, recent severe illness or hospitalization and adults 65 and older are at an increased risk of sepsis.
The emergency rooms at Parkridge Medical Center, Parkridge East Hospital, Parkridge West Hospital and Parkridge North ER are available 24/7 with access to board-certified physicians and nurses who can address sepsis and any other emergent medical condition.