New Delhi: Sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection, is likely to kill more people by 2050 than cancer and heart attacks due to irrational use of antibiotics, said doctors and health experts here.
According to the World Health Organisation, sepsis is a syndromic response to infection and is frequently a final common pathway to death from many infectious diseases worldwide.
A study published in the Lancet journal showed that in 2017 there were 48.9 million cases and 11 million sepsis-related deaths worldwide, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of all global deaths. The study also revealed that India has a higher death rate from sepsis, a life-threatening organ dysfunction response to infections, than other South Asian countries except for Afghanistan. “Sepsis will kill more people than cancer or heart attack by 2050 — it is going to be the biggest killer. Also, in developing countries like India, multidrug resistance due to gross overuse of antibiotics is probably causing higher mortality,” said Yatin Mehta, Chairman, Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesiology, Medanta — The Medicity, Gurugram. Sepsis can be caused by many common diseases such as dengue, malaria, UTIs or even diarrhoea.
While speaking at the recently held Sepsis Summit India 2021, organised by the health awareness institution Integrated Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council, Yatin Mehta said, “Despite advances in medicine, tertiary care hospitals see 50-60 per cent of patients getting sepsis and septic shock. Awareness and early diagnosis are needed, and unnecessary antibiotic therapy should be avoided.”