The first signs and symptoms of the condition can be easily identified using the anagram TIME, which stands for the following:
- Temperature higher or lower
- Mental decline
- Extremely ill.
The first, temperature, is important as when an individual is fighting off an infection, temperatures may increase. This is known as a fever. However, some people may notice that their body temperature actually goes down, also known as hypothermia. So an increase and a decrease in temperature is important to take note of.
Infections such as a urinary tract infection, pneumonia or an infected cut can be the first thing that eventually leads to sepsis. This will only occur if the infection spreads which in turn triggers other more common symptoms such as fever, fatigue and pain. Interestingly, sometimes an infection can occur without any symptoms.
Sepsis affects an individual’s mental capacity. People can become easily confused, which in older patients can be mistaken as the first signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason it is important for individuals to get checked with a medical professional if they become more confused or notice a change in their mental ability, especially those who have recently had an infection or virus.