New study reveals one in three kids with sepsis show PTSD symptoms years later

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As per a new study, doctors have found that at least one in three kids taking sepsis treatment in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) shows an increased risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Sepsis, caused by the body's immune system's reaction to infection, may lead to septic shock, organ damage or dysfunction, and rapid blood pressure drop in a patient.

About three million newborns and 1.2 million children suffer from sepsis each year globally, according to the World Health organization data.

At least 69 young patients, with an average age of 4.2 years, admitted to ICU for sepsis treatment were monitored between 2010 and 2017 by researchers from St Mary's Hospital and Imperial College in London. About 31 percent of them showed PTSD symptoms, said the lead researcher Dr Georgina Corbet Burcher from Imperial College.

The findings from the study, which, however, needs to be confirmed in a controlled environment, revealed that children who experienced a rapid increase in infection during their stay were at higher risk.

"Young people survive critical illness at greater rates than ever before, but there is a high psychological price," said the researcher.

PTSD, which affects around seven percent children in the UK, have long term effects on the youngsters' mental health. In this study, the researcher mentioned that sepsis patients appear to be at particular risk for subsequent PTSD symptom development.

It should be noted that the risk increases if a child stays in an ICU, with 20-30 percent of children showing symptoms within 3-12 months of their discharge. The reason behind the question as to why sepsis might be a risk factor is yet unknown.