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Understanding Sepsis, What Is Being Done To Find It Sooner

KYW's Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- You may have heard the word sepsis and may not have known what it means.

Sepsis can be described as a constellation of symptoms associated with an overwhelming infection in the bloodstream that can lead to damage and vital organs.

We are finding the incidence of sepsis in hospitals is increasing over time.

The good news is we have medications that can effectively treat sepsis. But the key to treating sepsis is recognizing the issue early enough in care to make a difference.

Physician's are now being trained to aggressively look for the signs and symptoms of sepsis in hospitalized patients and there are parameters that allow healthcare providers to know when someone might be at greater risk.

The AMA is working on a national data base to help in this effort.

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