An Indian American doctor has made a breakthrough discovery in curing sepsis. The man of the hour, Dr. Pinaki Panigrahi, is a professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at the Child Health Research Institute and Center for Global Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre’s College of Public Health. He has discovered that by feeding good or probiotic bacteria, the risk of sepsis in newborns can be reduced drastically. This is a major breakthrough on account of the severity and life-threatening nature of the disease. There are more than a million cases of sepsis every year and it kills close to 600,000 infants every year. Here are some important things to know about sepsis.Also Read - Sepsis Will Kill More People as Compared to Deaths Caused by Heart Attacks and Cancer by 2050, Say Experts

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is an illness caused by bacterial infection which attacks the body’s immunity and may lead to organ failure. Usually, our immune system protects us from diseases but when the chemicals from the immune system release into the bloodstream, they may end up causing inflammation throughout the body. This, in turn, can lead to a septic shock which is a medical emergency. It progresses in three stages – starting from sepsis, then moving to severe sepsis and finally leading to septic shock. (ALSO SEE What is Herpes: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Herpes) Also Read - Meningitis And Sepsis Causing Bacteria Meningococci Use a Small Protein, Cause Bigger Impact

Causes of sepsis

Sepsis is primarily caused by bacterial infections. While other infections can trigger sepsis further, it is mainly caused by infections like pneumonia, kidney infection blood infection and abdominal infection. Sepsis infections are more common in elderly people and those with a weak immune system. Also Read - Former UP governor Banwari Lal Joshi passes away

Symptoms of sepsis

Early symptoms of sepsis include high fever (above 101 degree Fahrenheit), heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute and increased rate of breath (more than 20 breaths per minute). Severe sepsis has symptoms like decrease in platelet count, stomach ache, discoloured skin and a significant decrease in the urine output. This when combined with extreme low blood pressure is a symptom of septic shock.

Effects of sepsis

Sepsis is a life threatening disease. Mild cases can make a full recovery but cases of septic shock have a 50 percent mortality rate. Other complications include small blood clots in the body which block blood and oxygen supply to vital organs causing them to fail. (CHECK OUT Home Remedies for Sinus Infection: 5 Most Effective Remedies to Cure Sinusitis)

Thanks to the breakthrough by Dr. Pinaki, there is now a formidable therapy to battle sepsis. According to a report in “The Hindu”, the Odia doctor’s therapy reduces the risk of sepsis infection by 40% in trials and it can be inexpensive — less than one dollar for a course. This means that it may well become an easily available solution to cure the life-threatening disease. The therapy works on the simple principle that infants are fed with good bacteria which combats the bad bacteria. Dr. Panigrahi has led the research to find a cure for sepsis since 2008 and is happy with the present outcome.