Introduction from Dr Ron Daniels, UK Sepsis Trust CEO
Admission to Intensive Care for any reason can leave a person who is fortunate enough to survive with life-changing after effects. A combination of the use of sedative drugs, a loss of the normal day/night sleep pattern and the ravaging of critical illness conspire to leave survivors suffering sleep disturbances, panic attacks, anxiety, hallucinations and depression.
In sepsis, things only get worse. Although we don’t fully understand why, people with sepsis develop further psychological and cognitive problems – it’s a condition we call ‘sepsis-associated encephalopathy’. Between 20% and 40% of survivors have some of these symptoms to a degree, and as many as 1 in 5 suffer so severely as to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The key to preventing these debilitating problems is to spot and treat sepsis early, avoiding a need for Intensive Care. The good news for those affected, though, is that symptoms tend to improve with time. Below, Mike Adams recounts his experiences as he fought for three weeks in hospital to survive sepsis at the age of 61.
If you’re a sepsis survivor and you identify with the content of this blog, and if your symptoms are not getting better, ask for help.