Understanding sepsis after Muhammad Ali’s death

As people remember Muhammad Ali, 7 News took a closer look at what doctors say led to his death. The 74-year-old died last week of septic shock.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sepsis is the body’s response to an infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, even death. They say there are more than a million cases each year. To read more, click here.

Mary Lynn Bushong knew she had an infection but didn’t realize how serious it was until she was rushed to Bon Secours St. Francis.

“We went in on a Friday night,” Bushong remembered. “If I had waited until the Saturday night to go in, it would probably have been too late.”

Doctor Bing Yi diagnosed her with sepsis.

“When the infection is out of control, and then it turns into sepsis, and that could bring life-threatening issues,” Dr. Yi explained.

He says the risk for sepsis is higher in people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, and in Bushong’s case – diabetes.

Bushong had her foot amputated and will receive a prosthetic leg in a couple weeks.

She encourages others to pay attention to their bodies and not to wait too long to see a doctor if you notice a problem.

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