1. Order Blood Tests:
Healthcare providers should order a complete blood count (CBC) and serum lactate level in all patients suspected of having sepsis. A CBC can help identify signs of infection, while a serum lactate level can indicate how severe the sepsis is.
2. Administer Antibiotics:
Antibiotics should be started as soon as possible in all patients with sepsis, preferably within the first 3 hours after diagnosis. There are several different antibiotics that may be used for sepsis, so healthcare providers should work with a specialist to choose the most appropriate antibiotic for each patient.
3. Monitor Vital Signs:
Healthcare providers should continuously monitor the vital signs of patients with sepsis, including heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. This helps to ensure that patients are responding well to treatment and that there are no signs of worsening sepsis.
4. Manage Fluids and Electrolytes:
Patients with sepsis often have low levels of fluids and electrolytes. Healthcare providers should carefully monitor these levels and take steps to correct them if necessary. This may involve administering intravenous fluids or electrolyte replacements.
5. Control Pain:
Many patients with sepsis experience pain, which can be difficult to manage. Healthcare providers should use a variety of methods to control pain, including medications and non-pharmacologic techniques such as massage and heat therapy.
6. Provide Nutrition:
Patients with sepsis often have difficulty eating and drinking normally. Healthcare providers should work with patients to come up with a plan for providing adequate nutrition, even if this means providing nutrients through an IV drip or feeding tube.
7. Address Mental Health Needs:
Sepsis can be a very frightening experience, and some patients may develop mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. Healthcare providers should screen for mental health problems and provide appropriate treatment if needed.
8. Monitor for Complications:
Sepsis can lead to a variety of complications, such as organ failure or pneumonia. Healthcare providers should monitor patients closely for any signs of these complications and take steps to treat them promptly.
9. Discharge Planning:
Once patients are stable, healthcare providers should begin planning for their discharge from the hospital. This includes ensuring that patients have a follow-up appointment with a doctor and arranging for any necessary home care or rehabilitation services.