PITTSBURG — World Sepsis Awareness Day is a nationwide campaign to help prevent sepsis related deaths with early prevention.

On Thursday health care providers across the world, including Via Christi Pittsburg, will raise awareness of sepsis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sepsis is “the body’s extreme response to an infection. Sepsis is life-threatening, and without prompt treatment, often rapidly leads to tissue damage, organ failure and death.”

Pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and some types of Streptococcus, are the most frequently identified as pathogens which can develop into sepsis, the CDC said.

Via Christi Pittsburg Medical Director and Sepsis Champion Dr. Timothy Stebbins said sepsis is non discriminant and affects people worldwide.

People who are at high risk for sepsis are infants under the age of one and adults over the age of 65; people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer and kidney disease; and people with weakened immune systems.

Dr. Stebbins checks for sepsis in patients daily. Although not all of the patients have sepsis, Dr. Stebbins said, it is urgent that they are analyzed as early as possible to prevent organ failure and death.

According to the CDC, more than 1.5 million people get sepsis each year in the United States, 250,000 Americans die from sepsis each year and about one and three patients who die in a hospital have sepsis.

Signs of sepsis includes confusion or disorientation, shortness of breath, high heart rate, fever or shivering, extreme pain or discomfort or clammy or sweaty skin.

Dr. Stebbins and Emergency Services Director Naomi Powers said people “can get ahead of sepsis” by talking to their doctor if they suspect they have an infection that is not getting better or is getting worse. They also said to have good hand hygiene, keep up with vaccinations and keep wounds bandaged and clean.

To learn more about sepsis and how to prevent infections people can visit www.cdc.gov/sepsis.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.