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Massachusetts Senior Care Association is a proud partner organization of The Massachusetts Sepsis Consortium, a public-private effort of more than two dozen organizations to reduce sepsis morbidity and mortality, coordinated by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety.

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The Consortium has launched Sepsis Smart, a statewide campaign to alert people to sepsis, its symptoms and the need to act fast if sepsis is suspected. Sepsis Smart is an online campaign to reach high-risk populations and their key influencers.

About Sepsis

When germs get into a person’s body, they can cause an infection. If that infection isn’t stopped, it can cause sepsis. Sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, amputations and death if it's not treated in time. 

Anyone can get sepsis. People with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease are at higher risk of developing infections that can lead to sepsis. Sepsis is most common in:

  • Adults 65 or older
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Children younger than one
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Know the Signs

Sepsis is a medical emergency but it can be confused with other illnesses. Symptoms may include:

  • fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold
  • extreme tiredness
  • confusion
  • shortness of breath
  • lightheadesness
  • unexplained pain
  • feeling worse than you've ever felt before

Act in Time

80 percent of sepsis deaths could be prevented with fast treatment. Get medical care immediately if you suspect sepsis. 

If you are feeling worse or not getting better in the days after surgery, ask the doctor, “Could this be sepsis?” If you have an infection that is not getting better or is getting worse, check with a doctor.

Be Sepsis Smart

Take good care of chronic conditions and get recommended vaccines to help prevent infections. Practice good hygiene, such as handwashing, and keeping cuts clean and covered until healed.

You can help save a life by being sepsis smart. Know the symptoms of sepsis and act fast. Get medical care immediately if you suspect sepsis or have an infection that’s not getting better or is getting worse.

Visit mass.gov/sepsis for information on Sepsis Smart and to learn more about sepsis.