Sepsis Causes, Risk Factors, Prevention And Treatment


A severe illness known as sepsis occurs when the body reacts incorrectly to an infection. The body's infection-fighting mechanisms activate, impairing the function of the organs.

Septic shock can develop from sepsis. This significant drop in blood pressure can potentially harm the liver, kidneys, lungs, and other organs. Death is a possibility in cases of extreme injury.

Sepsis may be treated early, which increases survival rates.

They can advise you, set up a call from a nurse or doctor, or dial an ambulance for you. Sepsis is a potentially fatal response to an illness. When your immune system overreacts to an infection, your body's own tissues and organs begin to suffer harm.

Sepsis cannot be contracted from another individual. Blood poisoning or septicaemia are other names for sepsis.


Sepsis can be brought on by any kind of infection. This covers viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Sepsis is more frequently brought on by infections of:

  • Lung diseases like pneumonia.
  • Kidney, bladder, and other urinary system components.
  • A mechanism for digestion.
  • Bloodstream.
  • Location of catheters.
  • Burns or wounds.

How to check if you have Sepsis?

Sepsis might result from any infection. If you experience sepsis symptoms, an infection, or a wound that is not healing, see a doctor immediately.

Emergency care is required for symptoms such as disorientation or rapid breathing.

Risk Factors

Several elements that raise the possibility that an infection can cause sepsis include:

  • Being above 65.
  • Infancy.
  • Those with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients or HIV patients.
  • Those who suffer from chronic illnesses including diabetes, renal problems, or COPD.
  • Admission to the critical care unit or extended hospital stays.
  • Breathing tubes or intravenous catheters are examples of devices that go into the body.
  • Antimicrobial therapy throughout the previous 90 days.
  • A disorder that needs corticosteroid therapy and which can reduce immune response.


Sepsis symptoms

Sepsis symptoms can include:

  • A shift in mental state.
  • Shallow, rapid breathing.
  • Sweating without apparent cause.
  • Experiencing dizziness.
  • Shivering.
  • A urinary tract infection, for example, can cause uncomfortable urination, while pneumonia might cause a cough that worsens.

Sepsis does not have any distinct symptoms. Sepsis symptoms might range from person to person and may be different in youngsters than in adults.

Septic shock symptoms

Septic shock can develop from sepsis. A dramatic decrease in blood pressure is septic shock. The risk of mortality increases with the onset of septic shock. Septic shock signs and symptoms include:

  • Being unable to stand.
  • Severe drowsiness or difficulty remaining awake.
  • Significant mental state shift, such as acute bewilderment.


The chance of recovery is increased by prompt, comprehensive therapy. Sepsis patients require careful observation and care in an intensive care unit of a hospital. This is because sepsis patients may require life-saving interventions to control their respiration and heart rate.


Sepsis and septic shock are both treated with various drugs. They consist of:

Antibiotics. Antibiotic therapy starts as soon as feasible. The initial line of defense is frequently broad-spectrum antibiotics, which work against a number of germs. The initial antibiotic could be substituted with a second one when the results of blood testing reveal which germ is responsible for the infection. The second one goes after the infection-causing microorganism.

Additional fluids in the veins. Fluids are administered intravenously as soon as feasible.

Vasopressors. Vasopressors make blood vessels smaller and can contribute to raising blood pressure. If blood pressure is too low despite getting fluids, a vasopressor drug may be prescribed.

The use of additional drugs is possible, such as painkillers or insulin to control blood sugar levels.

Support services

Oxygen is frequently used in supportive therapy for sepsis patients. Some people might require mechanical assistance to breathe. A person can require dialysis if the illness affects their kidneys and makes them less effective.


Surgery may be used to eliminate infection-causing elements including pus, infected tissues, or dead tissues.

Sepsis must be treated in a hospital since it might swiftly worsen. Within an hour of your arrival at the hospital, you should get antibiotics.

Sepsis can progress to septic shock and cause organ failure if it is not treated quickly. This poses a hazard to life.

Depending on your symptoms, you could also require the following tests or treatments:

  • Therapy in an intensive care unit, use of a ventilator to help you breathe, and infection-removing surgery
  • You could have to spend several weeks in the hospital.

Getting better after sepsis

Sepsis usually results in a full recovery. But it could take a while. Your physical and mental problems may not go away completely. After sepsis, they might persist for months or even years.

Post-sepsis syndrome, which refers to these long-term repercussions, can cause the following:

  • Having trouble sleeping, being extremely weak, and having no appetite
  • Becoming sick more frequently experiencing emotional swings, worry, or despair
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Trauma-related stress disorder

Post-sepsis syndrome therapy

The majority of post-sepsis syndrome symptoms should go away on their own but it could take a while.

You can take steps to mitigate certain long-term impacts.

Complications of Sepsis

Vital organs, including the brain, heart, and kidneys, do not receive as much blood as they should as sepsis progresses. Blood clotting may be brought on by sepsis. Small clots or ruptured blood vessels that develop might hurt or kill tissues.

Mild sepsis usually leads to recovery, but the septic shock has a death rate of between 30% and 40%. Moreover, a severe sepsis episode increases the chance of developing new infections.

Please seek medical assistance if you, your child, or a person you take care of:

  • Feels really ill or that something is gravely wrong
  • Has not urinated in the previous 12 hours (for adults and older children) or all-day
  • Keeps throwing up and finds it difficult to consume food or milk
  • Has an extremely high or low temperature, feels hot or cold to the touch, or is shivering. There is swelling or soreness around a cut or wound.


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Page last reviewed: Apr 17, 2023

Next review due: Apr 17, 2025

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