HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg just became the first hospital in the state to receive certification in treating the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
“We’ve been working for several years on sepsis. So, we looked at our numbers and decided we can do better on this,” said Dr. Daniel Crane, Merit Health Wesley’s medical director of the Emergency Department.
Crane said The Joint Commission evaluated the hospital’s improved standard of care from the first time a patient is seen until discharge and recognized the hospital with the Gold Seal of Approval for Sepsis Care.
“We see sepsis quite a bit. It’s something we see everyday here,” Crane said.
Crane said sepsis is a severe infection causing inflammation in your body, which can be life threatening. He said this is an infection usually contracted outside the hospital, but he said Merit Health Wesley is where they find the source of the infection.
“When we see a patient with sepsis we’re going to get them antibiotics, we’re going to draw blood cultures, we’re going to give them IV fluids, we’re going to draw labs on them and look for the source of infection," Crane said. "And once we find that, we can get the antibiotics geared towards the source of infection they have.”
Crane said with 1.7 million people getting sepsis every year, it’s important that if you notice these signs of infection to go see your doctor or get to the hospital.
“Start having a high fever, start having a high heart rate, high respiratory rate, start to get confused or difficulty waking up, difficulty to arouse,” Crane said. “You want to worry about do you have an infection and could it be sepsis?”
To decrease your risk of infection, Crane said to make sure you wash your hands, have sick people around you covering their mouth and nose when they sneeze and cough, get your vaccinations and keep wounds clean.
If you think you’re starting to get an infection see your doctor immediately.