Urosepsis is a serious life threatening complication of urinary tract infection. It is an acute condition which develops secondary to an infection in kidney, bladder, and organs of urinary tract. In this condition, the infection is not limited only to kidney or bladder, but it spreads in bloodstream. Since the blood is infected, other major organs of body can be damaged. If left untreated it can cause septic shock or even death.
The risk of urosepsis is more in women as compared to men. People with low immunity, diabetes, renal calculi, indwelling catheter, enlarged prostate, urethral scarring etc are susceptible to urosepsis as these conditions can interfere in emptying of bladder and increase infection rate.Patients with urosepsis need to be hospitalized for rigorous treatment measures as mortality is very high.
What Is The Cause Of Urosepsis Infection?
As mentioned earlier, urosepsis is secondary to urinary tract infection. Sepsis is serious condition that results when the infection spreads into bloodstream from an infected site. In urosepsis it is from the urinary tract. Infection with gram negative organisms such as E coli increases the risk of urosepsis. The microorganisms start multiplying rapidly if there is delay in passage and accumulation of urine in the bladder. This may occur if the voidance is obstructed due to scarring, stone, enlarged prostate or a growth.
Urinary tract infection proportionately is more common in females as compared to males due to short urethra in females. Infective bacteria can get easy access into the urinary system due to close proximity to fecal flora. Patients with indwelling catheters, low immunity, diabetes, kidney stone, urethral stricture, prostate enlargement, women using diaphragm as contraceptive, are at greater risk of suffering from urinary tract infection and later on urosepsis if left untreated.
Signs And Symptoms Of Urosepsis
Since urosepsis is a complication of urinary tract infection, initially the patient may manifest symptoms of urinary tract infection. This may include:
- Burning sensation in urine.
- Pain in lower abdomen.
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Cloudy or red urine.
- High fever with chills.
The infection can spread into the bloodstream particularly if the condition is not treated or if the person has low immune level. Once the organisms spread into the bloodstream, they may affect functions of other major organs leading to life threatening sepsis. The signs and symptoms of urosepsis are basically those of sepsis.
- High fever
- Rapid heart and pulse rate.
- Decrease in body temperature.
As the severity of sepsis progresses, the symptoms are:
- Low urine output.
- Altered level of consciousness.
- Severe pain in abdomen and back.
- Remarkable changes in blood tests.
- Low blood pressure.
Treatment Guidelines For Urosepsis
Sepsis due to urinary tract infection is life threatening condition. Patient needs to be hospitalized for the treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent further deterioration of health. Besides, the complications arising from it can be efficiently managed in hospital setup.
- Control of source of infection is critical in the treatment of urosepsis. Antibiotics are mainstay treatment for urinary tract infection. A blood and urine culture in laboratory helps to identify the bacteria so that the most effective antibiotic can be administered that can kill the organism. Usually in such severe condition the medicine is administered through intravenous route. It increases the efficiency of antibiotics and is also effective in recovery from the illness.
- Intravenous fluids are administered to flush the urine so that the germs may not remain adhered to the walls of urinary bladder. It also helps to increase blood pressure and for electrolyte balance. However, the amount of fluids and the type of fluids to be given is decided by the treating doctor.
- Once the patient becomes stable, surgical measures may be taken into consideration if the cause is enlargement of prostate or urethral stricture or renal stone. These conditions usually block the easy flow of urine and encourage growth of bacteria.
Besides the conventional treatment measures, natural remedies may be useful.
- Cranberry juice is beneficial in management of urinary tract infection. It helps in preventing the growth of bacteria in urinary bladder and also reduces the acidity in urine.
- Intake of vitamin C is beneficial as it helps to improve your immunity.