Diseases list > Sepsis

Sepsis is an overwhelming and deadly infection which attacks any part of your body, but is most commonly reported to begin at the kidneys, liver, gall bladder, and lungs. Sepsis is also known as septic inflammatory response syndrome or SIRS. Sepsis attacks a person through his or her bloodstream and is bacterial in nature.

It should be noted that meningitis is often accompanied by sepsis and patients who are hospitalized for any period of time can develop sepsis at different points such as an intravenous line, surgical wounds, surgical drains, or even through pressure sores. Children are especially at risk from sepsis which can stem from bone infections. Sepsis normally means that the original infection has become so advanced that it has spread to the bloodstream and is overwhelming the body’s immune system.


The symptoms of sepsis can range from fever, warm skin, shaking, rapid heart rate, chills, skin rash, confusion, delirium, or a decrease in the frequency of urination. Sepsis is very deadly and needs immediate medical intervention. It is known that almost 50% of people diagnosed with sepsis have died.

There are tests which can be implemented in order to confirm the presence of sepsis, although it is not uncommon for blood culture to show negative for sepsis if the patient is already taking antibiotics. It can also be determined if the white blood cell count is either too low or too high or if the platelet count is too low. There also kidney function tests which can reveal abnormalities in the early stages of sepsis.


Sepsis is normally treated in the intensive care unit alongside a broad plethora of antibiotics which are usually delivered intravenously. Testing will continue once the patient is stable enough to identify the source of sepsis. Treating the initial infection is very important in treating sepsis, but it is also common for the initial infection to clear up while the patient is getting high dosages of antibiotics. It must also be noted that intravenous lines must be changed at a fixed interval as they may also be the source of sepsis.

Sepsis will also require supportive therapy often involving oxygen therapy, medication to stabilize blood pressure, and medication. Even if there is proper treatment, it is not uncommon for patients to succumb to sepsis.

Avoiding sepsis is definitely easier than treating it. Any patient who has been hospitalized for any reason must be regularly checked for signs of pressure sores or anything else that may bring upon sepsis. Patients who are also recovering from any surgical procedure should also be checked many times in one day.  Those with nominal infections are also encouraged to see a physician for any warning signs as they are not easy to spot without the right tests.

While the survivable rate of sepsis is not very good, there are several patients who are able to survive it regardless of how bad their normal situation is. Those who survive septic shock will normally feel weak for a period of time which may last from weeks to months. It takes the body much time to recover from something as serious as sepsis.


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