Sepsis can and does affect people of all ages. The very young and those who already have a chronic health problem or a compromised immune system are at higher risk of developing sepsis. But people over 65 years old, particularly those who have health issues, are even more susceptible to sepsis than any other group.
According to a study published in 2006, while people aged 65 years and older make up about 12% of the American population, they make up 65% of sepsis cases in the hospitals.
Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body’s often deadly response to infection or injury. Sepsis kills and disables millions and requires early suspicion and rapid treatment for survival.
Sepsis and septic shock can result from an infection anywhere in the body, such as pneumonia, influenza, or urinary tract infections. Worldwide, one-third of people who develop sepsis die. Many who do survive are left with life-changing effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain and fatigue, organ dysfunction (organs don’t work properly) and/or amputations.