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Sepsis is a serious reaction to an infection. It causes inflammation across large areas of the body and can damage tissue and organs.
Sepsis can develop very quickly. It requires immediate care in a hospital.
Infections that can lead to sepsis include:
Symptoms can include low blood pressure, breathing problems, fast heartbeat, and confusion. Other symptoms include fever or low body temperature, chills, cool clammy skin, skin rashes, and shaking. Sepsis can cause problems in many organs.
Septic shock is sepsis that causes extremely low blood pressure, which limits blood flow to the body. It can cause organ failure and death.
Doctors will treat sepsis with medicine to treat infection. They will try to find the infection that led to sepsis.
Machines will track vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate, and pulse rate. You'll get fluids through an IV. You may also get strong medicine. This can help raise your blood pressure.
You might need to be treated in an intensive care unit (ICU) for several days or weeks. An ICU is a part of the hospital where very sick people get care.
Equipment in the ICU can support your body. That includes your breathing, circulation, fluids, and help for organs like the kidneys and heart. If you need help breathing, a ventilator may be used.
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Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Hasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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