Serious Infection – Causes, Symptoms and ER Treatment
Serious infections can cause extreme discomfort and severe health complications. In some cases, these infections can lead to permanent damage or death if they are not treated. There are several types of serious infections and their treatment will depend on the cause of the infection.
Causes of Serious Infection
A serious infection can result from many medical conditions. Typically, a serious infection means it’s time to visit the emergency room.
SignatureCare Emergency Center has emergency room locations in Houston, Sugar Land, Austin, College Station and Stafford, TX. Our ERs are open 24/7 and our doctors are board-certified.
Serious infections are caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi and can lead to serious medical situations unless treated. Below are a few infections that may require a visit to the emergency room.
Sepsis Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body releases a large amount of chemicals to fight an infection that has spread through the bloodstream. These chemicals can lead to inflammation which can cause organ damage.
Sepsis is usually caused by bacterial infections but it can also occur from minor scrapes or injuries. Symptoms of sepsis include chills, fever, rapid breathing and a decrease in urination. It can be treated with antibiotics and IV fluids.
Ear Infections Ear infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses that affect the middle ear. These infections can cause swelling and pain, and lead to hearing loss if left untreated.
Mild ear infections may clear up on their own but severe ear infections may be treated with antibiotics to kill bacteria, ear tubes to help fluid drain properly or ear drops.
Sinusitis Sinus infections are often caused by viral infections that prevent the sinus cavities from draining properly. However, they can also be caused by bacteria or by foreign agents that have been inhaled through the nose.
Sinus infections may disappear over time but they may need to be treated with antibiotics. In cases of severe or chronic sinusitis, surgery to drain the sinus cavities may be the best option for long-term relief.
Yeast Infections Yeast infections occur when there is too much yeast in the vagina, which may be caused by certain medications or illnesses. Some yeast infections can be treated with antibiotics while some women find relief using over-the-counter treatments.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) There are different types of urinary tract infections (UTI) and they usually occur when bacteria enter the tract through the urethra.
Symptoms include cloudy urine, pelvic or rectal pain, frequent urination and a burning sensation while urinating. Antibiotics may be required to treat urinary tract infections.
Staph Infections Staphylococcus bacteria can be life-threatening if they enter the bloodstream or lungs. A staph infection can cause impetigo, boils, food poisoning and cellulitis. It can be deadly if it is left untreated.
Since staph infections are caused by bacteria, they are treated with antibiotics. However, some strains of staphylococcus bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics.
When to Seek Emergency Room Treatment for Serious Infection
If your infection is not responding to treatment at home or does not seem to be getting better, you should visit one of SignatureCare Emergency Center’s emergency rooms. Specifically, be on the lookout for these symptoms:
Red streaks around the site of an infection
If you are suffering from a severe infection, please visit an emergency room closest to you immediately. We are available 24/7 to treat your severe infection and alleviate your discomfort. Schedule an emergency room appointment with us.