Sepsis Survivors

Being discharged from the hospital is a good day for most people, but it can also be stressful. Post-sepsis life can have challenges, especially if you have been left with long-term problems related to your illness. Some sepsis survivors recover completely and resume their lives, while others may struggle to cope, something no one expected.

Here you can find information to help you navigate post-sepsis life.

Starting in 2019, Sepsis Alliance added to the awareness efforts by launching Sepsis Survivor Week, which focuses on the survivors and the challenges they may face. Click here to learn more about Sepsis Survivor Week.

FAQ

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section addresses many questions related to sepsis and life after sepsis. Survivors and their family and friends can find answers to questions, such as can I get sepsis again, why am I so tired, and can sepsis be prevented? You may also find our Life After Sepsis Information Guide helpful in explaining some of the issues that could last long after discharge from the hospital.

KNOW THE SEPSIS FACTS

Many researchers are working to learn more about what causes sepsis, how it affects patients, and life after sepsis. Learn more about the facts and statistics in the Life After Sepsis Fact Sheet.

AFTER DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL

Once you have been discharged from the hospital, it may seem that you’ve been left to fend for yourself. Discharge instructions are sometimes rushed or may be incomplete, or you may not think of the questions you need to ask. To help you with the hospital to home or hospital to rehab transition, Sepsis Alliance has put together a checklist with the most common issues that come up. Click here for the list.

We have also created a discharge kit for those being released from the hospital after COVID-19. Download the guide here.

Since sepsis survivors are at risk for repeat infections, you should also speak with your doctor about any vaccinations that you may need to reduce the likelihood of getting another infection. You can learn more at Prevention: Vaccines. Regaining your health after sepsis can also be slow, but good nutrition can help you along the way. Learn more about nutrition after sepsis here.

CONNECT WITH OTHER SEPSIS SURVIVORS

Sepsis Alliance Connect is a virtual support community designed for the millions of people affected by sepsis. Click here to learn more or to sign up.

LEARNING ABOUT POST-SEPSIS SYNDROME (PSS)

Many people who spend time in an intensive care unit (ICU) develop problems like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those who were treated for sepsis may develop not only PTSD, but other problems as well. You can learn more about PSS here and PTSD here.

COPING WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

Your mental health is a vital part of your overall recovery. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue and you don’t know where to turn, visit our Mental Health Resources page for a list of organizations that may help you.

EXPLAINING POST-SEPSIS ISSUES TO OTHERS

If you are experiencing problems after your discharge, either physical, cognitive, or psychological, you may find it difficult to explain. To help explain post-sepsis issues, Sepsis Alliance has written letters that explain sepsis and PSS to:

CONDITIONS THAT CAN CAUSE SEPSIS

Anyone can develop sepsis, but some people are at higher risk, including sepsis survivors. Learn how sepsis is associated with various conditions, such as diabetes or cancer in our Sepsis and… library.

Updated March 25, 2021.

Video Resources

Faces of Sepsis: Survivor Panel

Presented by sepsis survivors for sepsis survivors, this webinar includes a panel discussion about life after sepsis. Three sepsis survivors will tell their stories and will answer attendee questions about their experiences with sepsis, as well as how they found purpose and returned to life after sepsis.

Septic Shock with Multiple Amputations: A Survivor’s Story

Betty Lott

Survivor

It was six years ago in March 2018, at the age of 67, that I went into septic shock. (Sepsis and Septic Shock) I had been having multiple UTIs and going to the walk-in one time, my primary gynecologist, etc. So, I guess no one was really keeping track of the number of episodes. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) I was at at my granddaughters’ flag football game and was not feeling well. I thought maybe I had a kidney stone or infection but just did not feel well in general. I was in touch with a nurse friend and ... Read Full Story

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Susan H.

Survivor, Survivor

The Day I went missing. November 24, 2020 was the last day before Thanksgiving Break from high school. I am a 62 yr. old female, entering my 18th year of teaching special education. I had a history of diverticulosis, my father died when I was 18 of colon cancer. I was consistent with preventive colon care, but had been hospitalized for a night for diverticulitis in 2019. After the infection had cleared, a colonoscopy revealed severe diverticulosis, and gastro doctor advised 11 inches be taken out. My husband and I both met with him and got a second opinion, and ... Read Full Story

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Diana L.

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

It started with a urinary tract infection I did not even know I had. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) That weekend, I lost my appetite and was extremely tired. I went to urgent care the next day, where I was given antibiotics for the UTI. The day after, I felt worse, and went to the ER, where I was given a blood transfusion, along with other medications. I was asked if I wanted to admit to the hospital, and I though the medication would work, so I went home. After 2 days, I woke up one morning and was very ... Read Full Story

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Mariane G.

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

In October 2023 I was at work and noticed that my urine was very orange at that time. I thought I was just very dehydrated but I was actually internally bleeding. Collapsed at work, had fevers was vomiting and was in excruciating pain as well as having very strange hallucinations! (Sepsis and Hallucinations) I had no idea what was going on. I ended up in hospital after colleague and my husband found me! I ended up having to have surgery the day after because I had become septic and had acute kidney failure, and my liver was also starting to ... Read Full Story

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Dennis S.

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

After having a colonoscopy due to minor but long term bleeding, they found I had numerous tumors in my descending and transverse sections of my colon. Because they were in 2 of the 3, they said the whole colon had to be removed, the tumors would appear in the ascending portion within a year. Surgery was done, removed the colon, built a Hartman’s pouch and re- attached my intestine. Just 24hrs after surgery, something was wrong. (Sepsis and Surgery) They had placed me in a ICU unit in an induced coma. It took a couple days but found out 1 ... Read Full Story

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Help Raise Sepsis Awareness

Many sepsis survivors and loved ones feel the need to help spread sepsis awareness so others don’t go through the same thing. There are many ways you can do this:

Faces of Sepsis

Share your story through our Faces of Sepsis feature. There are more than 1,000 stories from survivors and people who have lost a loved one to sepsis. Sharing your story has three initial benefits. Many survivors and loved ones feel that writing the story down and sharing it allows them to process feelings about their illness and the aftermath. It also helps others, the readers, learn that they aren’t alone.

Too many sepsis survivors think that no one understands what they’ve gone through but when they read these stories, they no longer feel so alone. These stories also show the readers that sepsis can affect anyone – their family, friend, coworker.

Host a talk

Sepsis Alliance has made available a kit called Sepsis 911, Community Education Presentation. A second one focusing on sepsis and aging is also available.

By giving talks to social groups, friends and family, school, even coworkers, you can help educate the people around you about sepsis, what it is, how it happens, and how to reduce your risk of developing it. The kit provides you with material you need for a successful talk, such as a leader’s guide (with script), a video, customizable promotional materials, surveys, and more.

Host an awareness event/fundraiser

Local awareness events are being held across the country, spearheaded by individuals like you. Whether you want to hold a Stomp Out Sepsis or Sips for Sepsis event, or anything in between, these events help raise awareness and raise funds for Sepsis Alliance, to help support the organization’s awareness efforts. Or if you’d rather do an online awareness event, that works too. Check out the host an event page for other ideas and a fundraising toolkit.

Give to Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the nation’s leading organization, working in all 50 states, to save lives and reduce suffering by improving sepsis awareness and care. As a non-profit organization, Sepsis Alliance relies on generous gifts from people like you. Many employers match donations to non-profit organizations, so you may want to check if your employer does. Click here to give now.

Buy Sepsis Alliance products

You can find sepsis awareness products in our store. From symptoms cards to lapel pins, these products may introduce the word to someone who has never heard of it, stimulating a conversation about what sepsis is.

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