Patients with sepsis at higher risk of stroke, heart attack after hospital discharge

Patients with sepsis are at increased risk of stroke or myocardial infarction (heart attack) in the first 4 weeks after hospital discharge, according to a large Taiwanese study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Sepsis accounts for an estimated 8 million deaths worldwide, and in Canada causes more than half of all deaths from infectious diseases.

Researchers looked at data on more than 1 million people in Taiwan, of whom 42 316 patients had sepsis, matched with control patients in the hospital and the general population. All sepsis patients had at least one organ dysfunction, 35% were in the intensive care unit and 22% died within 30 days of admission. In the total group of patients with sepsis, 1012 had a cardiovascular event, 831 had a stroke and 184 had a myocardial infarction within 180 days of discharge from hospital. Risk was highest in the first 7 days after discharge, with more than one-quarter (26%) of myocardial infarction or stroke occurring in the immediate period and 51% occurring within 35 days.

Full story at Science Daily

Delirium, muscle weakness among overlooked symptoms of sepsis

Delirium, muscle weakness and other neurological complications of sepsis often are overlooked and poorly understood, according to a study published in the journal Current Neurology and Neurosciences Reports.

Seizures, strokes, neuromuscular disorders and encephalopathy (brain disease) are among the complications that often escape necessary investigation, “largely due to other ongoing systemic derangements requiring much attention,” report neurologists Rochelle Sweis, DO, Jorge Ortiz, MD, and José Biller, MD, of Loyola University Medical Center and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Sepsis is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and it’s responsible for 7 percent of all childhood deaths. Incidence is highest among infants and the elderly, African Americans and males. Common risk factors include chronic diseases such as cancer or diabetes and use of immune-suppressing drugs. Genetic factors also play a role, according to the article. Central nervous system complications of sepsis include stroke, seizures and delirium. Delirium can be hyperactive (agitation, pulling out lines, hallucinating, etc.) or the opposite, hypoactive (sluggishness, drowsiness, inattention, etc.) When associated with sepsis, delirium is known as sepsis-associated encephalopathy (SAE), acute brain dysfunction or sepsis-associated delirium.

Full story of delirium and muscle weakness from sepsis at Science Daily