September is Sepsis Awareness Month!

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

Infection prevention is the only way to prevent sepsis. Although not all infections are preventable, we can significantly reduce the risk through infection prevention measures such as regular hand washing and isolating ourselves if we are ill. Another important way to reduce the risk of contracting infections is by receiving vaccinations that target certain illnesses. 

Caring for Wounds

Every cut, scrape, or break in the skin – including surgical incisions – can allow bacteria to enter your body that could cause an infection. For this reason, infection prevention begins with ensuring that all wounds be cleaned as quickly as possible and be kept clean as they heal. They should also be monitored for signs of an infection.

Washing our hands is a simple task that we all do every day, several times a day. However for hand washing to be effective, it needs to be done properly and possibly more frequently than many people do already.

Generally, to wash your hands well, you simply need to use running water (to help wash the debris from your hands), lather your hands well (making sure to rub between each finger and under your nails), and dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel. It is best if you remove your rings before washing your hands.

Watch for signs of infection: redness around the wound, skin around the wound warm to touch, increased pain, and/or discharge from the wound.