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WHAT’S HAPPENING’S TRI-CITY VOICE

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ccording to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), severe sepsis strikes about 750,000 Americans every year, and the estimated death rate among those stricken with severe sepsis is greater than the number of annual deaths from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. Yet most Americans don’t even know what sepsis is. “Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition which occurs when the body has a severe infection coupled with an overly robust or ‘dysregulated’ immune response to that infection,” says Dr. Daniel Sweeney, a specialist in critical care medicine and infectious disease on the medical staff at Washington Hospital. “The immune system releases molecules into the blood to combat infections,” he explains. “It is believed that an overload of those molecules can cause widespread inflammation and impaired blood flow that damages the body’s organs. There are basically three degrees of the condition, starting with sepsis and progressing through severe sepsis to septic shock.” Sepsis can progress rapidly. If the condition becomes severe, the patient can experience failure of one or more organs. The body’s blood pressure can drop dramatically, sending the patient into septic shock, at which point multiple organs may fail and the patient can die. “Anyone can get sepsis, but it is important to understand who is more likely to get it, and which patients are more likely to die,” says Dr. Sweeney. “The elderly, infants and

people who have weak immune systems or are undergoing chemotherapy are most vulnerable. People with diabetes or cancer or chronic illnesses such as kidney, lung or liver disease also are at increased risk.” Any type of infection can lead to sepsis. Pneumonia and urinary tract infections are the most common causes of sepsis. Other common sources of sepsis are infections of the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system infections such as meningitis. Even a person with an infected wound can develop sepsis, which is a special concern with patients who have diabetes because they may have poor blood circulation and an increased risk of non-healing wounds. “Early diagnosis and treatment is as important in saving lives for people with sepsis as it is for victims of heart attacks and strokes,” Dr. Sweeney asserts. “That’s why it’s important for people to be aware of the causes, risk factors and symptoms of sepsis.” To help people in the community learn more about sepsis, Washington Hospital is sponsoring a free seminar on the topic on Tuesday, May 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. The seminar will feature presentations by Dr. Sweeney and Dr. Kadeer Halimi, an emergency medicine specialist on staff in the Emergency Department at Washington Hospital. The seminar will be held in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium at the Washington West Building, 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont. Diagnosing Sepsis Sepsis usually presents a constellation of symptoms that might include a fever above

May 6, 2014

To help people in the community learn more about sepsis, Washington Hospital is sponsoring a free seminar on Tuesday, May 13 from 1 to 3 p.m.The seminar will feature presentations by Dr. Sweeney, a specialist in critical care medicine and infectious disease at Washington Hospital and Dr. Kadeer Halimi, an emergency medicine specialist on staff in the Emergency Department at Washington Hospital.The seminar will be held in the Conrad E.Anderson, M.D. Auditorium at the Washington West Building, 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

101.3º F or, conversely, a body temperature below 95? F; chills and shaking; rapid or difficult breathing; a fast heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute; confusion or disorientation; low blood pressure, and a probable or confirmed infection. “Some symptoms of sepsis can be a sign of other conditions, which can make it difficult to diagnose sepsis in the early stages,” notes Dr. Sweeney, who has conducted preclinical research in sepsis. “If a patient is having severe chest pain, it’s fairly obvious that it could be a heart attack,” he observes. “Or, if a patient is experiencing sudden arm or leg weakness and/or slurred speech, it’s highly likely the patient is having a stroke. But with sepsis, we have to evaluate a combination of more vague or nonspecific symptoms, and they can vary from case to case. For example, many – if not

most – patients with sepsis will have a fever, but this not always the case. In fact, some patients with sepsis actually can have an abnormally low body temperature. The symptoms also can vary depending on the original source of infection.” Many sepsis cases are first encountered in hospital emergency rooms. “When a patient in the ER shows signs of sepsis, and we know the person has a chronic condition, we are very vigilant,” Dr. Halimi says. “Sometimes, though, we are surprised to see sepsis in people who are generally quite healthy. Recently, for example, we saw a 34-year-old patient with symptoms of a respiratory infection that turned out to be a serious case of influenza. continued on page 7

InHealth broadcasts on Comcast Channel 78 in Fremont, Newark and Union City and online at www.inhealth.tv The full schedule of InHealth programs listed below can also be viewed in real time on the Washington Hospital website, www.whhs.com

12:00 PM 12:00 AM 12:30 PM 12:30 AM

1:00 PM 1:00 AM

1:30 PM 1:30 AM

T U E S DAY

W E D N E S DAY

T H U R S DAY

F R I DAY

S AT U R DAY

S U N DAY

M O N DAY

05/06/14

05/07/14

05/08/14

05/09/14

05/10/14

05/11/14

05/12/14

Your Concerns InHealth: Sun Protection

Deep Venous Thrombosis

Heel Problems and Treatment Options

Hip Pain in the Young and Middle-Aged Adult

Strengthen Your Back! Learn to Improve Your Back Fitness

Minimally Invasive Treatment for Common Gynecologic Conditions Women's Health Conference: Aging Gracefully

Voices InHealth: Healthy Pregnancy

Get Your Child's Plate in Shape

Women's Health Conference: Age Appropriate Screenings

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Lower Back Disorders

Strengthen Your Back! Learn to Improve Your Back Fitness

3:00 PM 3:00 AM

3:30 PM 3:30 AM

4:00 PM 4:00 AM

4:30 PM 4:30 AM

5:30 PM 5:30 AM

Living Well with Diabetes: Overcoming Challenges Washington Township Health Care District Board Meeting April 9th, 2014

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Lower Back Disorders

Washington Township Health Care District Board Meeting April 9th, 2014

Learn Exercises to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure and Slow Your Heart Rate

Inside Washington Hospital: The Green Team

Learn If You Are at Risk for Liver Disease

Raising Awareness About Stroke

Vitamins and Supplements - How Useful Are They?

Treating Infection: Learn About Sepsis

Don't Let Hip Pain Run You Down

Community Based Senior Supportive Services

9:00 PM 9:00 AM

Washington Township Health Care District Board Meeting April 9th, 2014

Diabetes Matters: Top Foods for Heart Health

Cataracts and Diabetic Eye Conditions

Washington Township Health Care District Board Meeting April 9th, 2014

Kidney Transplants

9:30 PM 9:30 AM

Diabetes Matters: Back to the Basic Keys for Success

Voices InHealth: Radiation Safety

Don't Let Hip Pain Run You Down Diabetes Matters: New Year, New You (New)

Do You Have Sinus Problems?

Washington Township Health Care District Board Meeting April 9th, 2014

Washington Township Health Care District Board Meeting April 9th, 2014

Peripheral Vascular Disease: Leg Weakness, Symptoms and Treatment & Percutaneous (Under the Skin) Treatment

10:30 PM 10:30 AM

Living with Heart Failure

GERD & Your Risk of Esophageal Cancer

Treatment Options for Knee Problems

Lunch and Learn:Yard to Inside Washington Hospital: Table Stroke Response Team Voices InHealth: Radiation Safety

The Weight to Success How to Maintain a Healthy Weight: Good Nutrition is Key

Superbugs: Are We Winning the Germ War?

11:00 PM 11:00 AM

11:30 PM 11:30 AM

Heart Irregularities

Superbugs: Are We Winning the Germ War?

Heart Healthy Eating Your Concerns InHealth: After Surgery and Beyond Diabetes Matters: Partnering Senior Scam Prevention with your Doctor to Improve Control

Diabetes Matters: New Year, New You (New)

From One Second to the Next

Learn Exercises to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure and Slow Your Heart Rate

Strengthen Your Back! Learn to Improve Your Back Fitness

10:00 PM 10:00 AM

Influenza and Other Contagious Respiratory Conditions

Sports-Related Concussions Diabetes Matters: Strategies for Support

Do You Have Sinus Problems?

8:00 PM 8:00 AM

8:30 PM 8:30 AM

Do You Suffer From Anxiety or Depression?

Shingles

Kidney Transplants Turning 65? Get To Know Medicare

Washington Township Health Care District Board Meeting April 9th, 2014

Diabetes Matters: Strategies for Support

7:00 PM 7:00 AM

7:30 PM 7:30 AM

Living Well with Diabetes: Overcoming Challenges

Don't Let Hip Pain Run You Down

Sports-Related Concussions

6:00 PM 6:00 AM

6:30 PM 6:30 AM

Don't Let Back Pain Sideline You

Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Disease

What Are Your Vital Signs Voices InHealth: Radiation Telling You? Safety

5:00 PM 5:00 AM

Washington Women's Center: Cancer Genetic Counseling Your Concerns InHealth: Sun Protection

2:00 PM 2:00 AM

2:30 PM 2:30 AM

Treatment Options for Knee Problems

Movement Disorders, Parkinson's Disease, Tremors and Epilepsy

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Lower Back Disorders

Do You Suffer From Breathing Problems? Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or Asthma

Your Concerns InHealth: Senior Scam Prevention

Learn If You Are at Risk for Liver Disease

Voices InHealth: The Greatest Gift of All

Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Disease

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