Pune: According to George Institute of Global Health (GIGH), sepsis kills more people than breast or prostate cancer combined in India.
The rising incidence of sepsis in India is owing to poor hospital hygiene and low rate of adherence to hand hygiene guidelines given by the hospital staff. Poor hand hygiene conditions in hospitals can lead to sepsis, especially during healthcare delivery, in critical units in hospitals.
Sepsis is an infection, which occurs when chemicals, released into the bloodstream to fight the infection, trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body.
Speaking about the issue, Dr Nita Munshi, Director of Laboratory at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune, said that it is imperative that warning signs like fever and high heart rate in patients are taken seriously and state-of-the-art care is initiated early to avoid multi-organ failure, which is globally a major cause of death by infection.
“In a developing country like India, strengthening of basic care and preventive strategies are thus extremely important. Furthermore, owing to an increased length of stay and antibiotic regimen, there is considerable medical resource utilisation, leading to economic burden on patients,” said Dr Munshi.
She further added that the hospitals must lay a lot of stress on hand hygiene in all areas, especially for critical care and high-risk patients.
Echoing similar sentiments, Dr Dinesh Lalwani said that sepsis can be fatal and hence proper care should be extended to the patient immediately.
“If proper care is not given, it can cause grave trouble. In a diabetic patient, sepsis can lead to amputation if not treated in time. Necessary antibiotics should be administered immediately,” said Lalwani.
“The infection can go into the bloodstream by a wound or through fever in children. If the child’s immunity is poor, it can prove fatal. The infection can reach the brain and, hence, proper treatment should be extended immediately,” added Lalwani.
Dr Nita Munshi further added that sepsis in patients leads to longer stay in hospitals and thus increases costs of treatments.
“With the recent declaration of National Health Protection Scheme announced by Government of India, this landscape is expected to improve. Furthermore, optimal hand hygiene practices, which play a pivotal role in reducing sepsis risk, must be inculcated among the healthcare workers to pave a way for panacea from sepsis in all patients,” said Dr Munshi.