Study finds that speeding up sepsis care can save lives

FILE - This 2006 colorized scanning electron micrograph image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a strain of the Escherichia coli bacteria. E. coli is one of the germs that can cause sepsis. Once misleadingly called blood poisoning or a bloodstream infection, sepsis occurs when the body goes into overdrive while fighting an infection, sort of friendly fire that injures its own tissue. The cascade of inflammation and other damage leads to shock, amputations, organ failure or death. (Janice Carr/CDC via AP) (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sepsis is the body’s out-of-control reaction to an infection – and by the time patients realize they’re in trouble, their organs could be shutting down.

So minutes really matter in treating sepsis.

It’s a killer condition that most people probably have never heard of, and new research shows it’s time they learn.

New York is the first state to require hospitals follow aggressive steps when they suspect sepsis is brewing.

Researchers who studied patients there in the past two years report faster care really is better: Every additional hour it takes to give antibiotics and perform other key steps increases the odds of death by 4 percent.

That’s not just news for doctors or for other states considering similar rules. Patients also have to reach the hospital in time provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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