Sepsis Blog
UTIs: Common Infection, Serious Consequences

Most people don’t know that 25% of all sepsis cases stem from infections of the urinary tract. Urinary Tract Infections–or UTIs–are a common bacterial infection that most frequently affects women. In fact, 50-60% of women will develop a UTI in their lifetime, compared to 12% of men. Moreover, by age 24, one in three women will require antibiotics to treat a UTI.

Given the high prevalence of UTIs and the fact that they account for nearly a quarter of all sepsis cases, we can and must to a better job of preventing and treating these common infections. Here’s what you need to know about sepsis and UTIs:

A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter through the urethra, which is the tube that urine travels through to exit the body. The bacteria can travel in a number of ways including inadequate personal hygiene, sexual contact and a pre-existing bladder condition. Women are more prone to UTIs because of the shorter length of their urethras.

Symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • A burning sensation when  urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • A feeling that your bladder is full, even after urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain in women

If left untreated, a UTI can progress to sepsis.  Sepsis that originates from the urogenital tract is call urosepsis and can be serious and even fatal.

Symptoms of urosepsis include:

  • Pain near kidney, or lower sides of back
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced Urine volume
  • Trouble breathing
  • Confusion
  • Weak pulse
  • High fever or low temperature
  • Sweating
  • Changes in heart rate such as rapid heartbeat

Remember, ALL types of infection can lead to sepsis. The best way to prevent sepsis is to prevent infection. And when infections do develop, seek medical assistance.

Read more about Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections here.