Sepsis certified treatment center in San Jose, California

Regional Medical Center of San Jose was one of the first hospitals in California to receive the sepsis certification from The Joint Commission. This means our doctors and nurses follow evidence-based care, which reduces sepsis mortality with early detection and rapid treatment.

For more information about our sepsis treatment program or sepsis certification, please call (408) 259-5000.

Healthgrades 2017 Sepsis Award The Joint Commission: National Quality Approval

What is sepsis?

Sepsis occurs when an infection you already have spreads or triggers an immune system response that affects other organs or systems. The body releases chemical agents, called toxins, into the bloodstream. These toxins trigger widespread inflammation, which can slow blood flow and damage your organs overtime. Sepsis can cause tissue damage, organ failure and even death.

You can get sepsis anywhere, but you can’t catch it from someone else. Sepsis is most common among the elderly, people with a long-term illness (like diabetes or cancer), people with a weakened immune system and babies younger than three months old.

Most infections won’t lead to sepsis, however, you will need proper treatment in a hospital if you have sepsis.

Septic shock

If sepsis becomes severe, it progresses to septic shock. This means that your blood pressure drops dramatically and organs don’t get enough oxygen to continue to function.

Septic shock carries the highest risk of complications and death. Patients with septic shock will be admitted to our intensive care unit (ICU) for around-the-clock care.

Sepsis symptoms

If an infection occurs anywhere—on the skin, in the urinary tract or in the lungs—patients are at risk for developing sepsis. This is one reason why it is important to seek medical care immediately if you have signs of a worsening infection.

Early signs of sepsis include:

  • Fever, shivering or feeling very cold
  • Hypothermia
  • Heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute (BPM)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Altered mental status (confusion, difficult to rouse, coma, etc.)
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Pale or discolored skin
  • High blood glucose without diabetes

Sepsis treatment

Sepsis is treated as a medical emergency. Regional Medical Center has a Rapid Response Team (RRT), which includes specially trained nurses who monitor sepsis inpatients and escalate their treatment to a higher level, if needed.

As a sepsis patient, you may be admitted to a regular hospital room or to the intensive care unit (ICU), depending on the severity of your condition. Your care team will administer antibiotics to fight the infection, as well as IV fluids, oxygen, and other medications to keep your blood pressure from falling and to support your body.

Patients with severe sepsis or septic shock may be treated at Regional with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a life-saving partial heart-lung bypass procedure for critically ill patients. We are one of just a few California hospitals to use the portable heart-lung support system.

Preventing sepsis

You can prevent sepsis by preventing infections. To prevent infections, you must:

  • Get appropriate, recommended vaccinations to prevent illnesses
  • Practice thorough hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently
  • Clean cuts or wounds thoroughly if you are injured

If you already have an infection, you can decrease the chances of developing sepsis and possibly prevent it by:

  • Taking antibiotics as prescribed
  • Finishing the entire course of antibiotics
  • Seeking medical help if an illness or infection doesn’t improve

Benefits of a sepsis certification

Being sepsis certified by The Joint Commission benefits our patients in San Jose, California. Our sepsis certification:

  • Builds the structure required for a systematic approach to clinical care with Standards of Practice consistent with current Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • Improves the quality of patient care and reduces variability in treatment through evidence-based research
  • Creates a collaborative clinically competent team
  • Provides an objective assessment of clinical, operational and service excellence
  • Differentiates clinical care program excellence in the San Jose Marketplace
  • Promotes achievement to better serve patients through referrals and community collaboration
  • Reduces sepsis mortality with early detection and rapid initiation of treatment

Source: AHRQ Healthcare cost & Utilization Project October 2011; Source: Angus DC, et al. Crit Care Med 2001: Jul; 29 (7): 1303-10