HOUSTON – Just after the death of his beloved wife Barbara, former President George H.W. Bush was hospitalized in the intensive care unit with sepsis.
He recovered and left the hospital, but too often this potentially deadly condition takes lives.
In 2017 alone, 1 in 3 people who died in a hospital had sepsis.
The Centers for Disease Control tracks the disease and its complications. Last year, it found at least 1.7 million cases diagnosed in the United States.
What is sepsis? Sepsis is the body's extreme response to common bacterial infections. Things as simple as an infected skin cut, a urinary tract infection or illness affecting your lungs can trigger it. If you don't get proper medical attention quickly, it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.
It can strike anyone, but children, the elderly and those with chronic health problems are most at risk.
To help you know your risk and to avoid putting yourself or your family at risk, check out the CDC's fact sheets on how to protect yourself.