There are no simple diagnostic tests for sepsis - an out-of-control reaction to infection that can start shutting down organs in mere hours - but there are warning signs if healthcare providers pay close enough attention, according to Dr. James O’Brien, a critical care specialist at Ohio State University Medical Center.
“Minutes matter,” O'Brien says, noting that delays are too often simply a case of “not treating this like a medical emergency.” Millions of people around the world die from sepsis each year, and 30% of sepsis cases in the U.S. result in death.
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