What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is the body's overwhelming and sometimes fatal response to infection, which can result in organ failure, tissue damage, and fatalities. To fight infection, immune chemicals secreted in the blood cause massive inflammation, which leads to blood clots and leaky vessels. This decreases blood flow, causing organ damage by depriving them of oxygen and nutrients.

Stages of sepsis

Sepsis is divided into three stages:

Sepsis is a condition in which an infection enters the bloodstream and produces inflammation throughout the body.

Severe Sepsis The infection and inflammation have progressed to the point that they are interfering with organ function.

Septic Shock Septic shock is a serious sepsis consequence that results in a considerable decrease in blood pressure. This can result in a variety of catastrophic consequences, including organ damage.


Symptoms of sepsis

If you have any signs or symptoms of sepsis, you should seek medical help right away. The sooner the treatment starts, the better are the chances of recovery.

Symptoms of sepsis can include:

  • Chills and fever
  • Perplexity or disorientation
  • Breathing problems
  • Low blood pressure or a fast heart rate (hypotension)
  • Extreme agony Skin that is sweaty

Symptoms of severe sepsis include

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin discolouration, especially on lips, fingers, and toes
  • Chills as a result of a decrease in body temperature
  • Urination is less frequent
  • Dizziness
  • Mental Ability Changes
  • Unconsciousness


While any bacterial, viral, or fungal infection can cause sepsis, illnesses that are more typically associated with sepsis include infections of the respiratory tract.

  • Pneumonia
  • Abdominal infections
  • Kidney infections
  • Blood poisoning
  • Wounds or burns

Risk Factors

A lot of factors and conditions increase the risk for sepsis, including:

  • Older age
  • Infancy
  • Diabetes
  • Weak immune system
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney or liver illness
  • Longer hospital stays or admission to an intensive care unit
  • Intravenous catheters and breathing tubes for long time
  • Use of antibiotics or corticosteroids in the past


Vaccinate yourself against the flu, pneumonia, and other illnesses.

Cleaning scrapes and wounds and practising proper hygiene by washing hands and bathing on a regular basis can help prevent infections that can progress to sepsis.

If you have an infection and witness any of the following signs, seek immediate treatment to prevent sepsis.

  • Fever and chills
  • Excessive thirst
  • Breathing difficulties, a fast heart rate, low blood pressure, and a poor urine output are all signs of organ dysfunction
  • Rash
  • Extreme weakness, dizziness, lethargy or confusion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Skin or wounds that become red, hot, tender and swollen or draining pus


If one has sepsis symptoms, the doctor will conduct tests to diagnose the illness and establish its severity. A blood test is one of the first tests to be performed. The blood test examines the following conditions

  • Problems with infection clotting
  • Anomaly of the liver or kidneys
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Electrolyte imbalance, if any
  • Blood acidity levels to check how acidic a person's blood is

The doctor may prescribe additional tests based on the symptoms and the findings of the blood test, such as

  • A urine test is required (to check for bacteria in the urine)
  • A test of wound secretion (to check an open wound for an infection)
  • A test for mucus secretion (to identify germs responsible for an infection)

If the above tests fail to identify the source of illness, the doctor may request an interior examination of the body using one of the following methods:

  • X-rays of the chest to examine the lungs
  • CT scans are used to look for infections in the appendix, pancreas, and colon
  • Ultrasounds to see if the gallbladder or ovaries are infected
  • Soft tissue infections can be detected using MRI scanning


The chances of a successful recovery increase with early and extensive treatment. In the critical care unit, patients with sepsis must be closely monitored and treated. Lifesaving procedures may be necessary to stabilise respiratory and heart function.


Sepsis and septic shock are treated with a variety of drugs. They include the following:

  • Antibiotics : Antibiotic treatment should begin as soon as feasible. Antibiotics with a broad spectrum of action, which are effective against a wide range of germs, are typically used initially. Following the findings of blood testing, your doctor may switch to an antibiotic that is specifically designed to combat the bacteria that is causing the infection.
  • Intravenous fluids: Intravenous fluids should be started as soon as feasible.
  • Vasopressors: Individuals may be given vasopressor medication if their blood pressure stays too low after getting intravenous fluids. This medicine helps to raise blood pressure by constricting blood vessels.
    Low doses of corticosteroids, insulin to assist maintain stable blood sugar levels, medicines that modulate immune system responses, and painkillers or sedatives are also possible therapies.
  • Supportive care: People with sepsis are frequently given supportive treatment, which includes oxygen. Individuals may require the assistance of a machine to help breathe, depending on their health. One may require dialysis if the kidneys have been damaged.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be required to remove infection sources such as pus collections (abscesses), diseased tissues, or dead tissues (gangrene).

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the initial stage of sepsis?

A fever of 38°C (101°F) or a low temperature of 36°C (96.8) heartbeats per minute more than 90. A positive blood culture confirms the presence of a bacterial, fungal, or viral illness.

2. Which organ affects sepsis first?

Most frequently, infections that cause sepsis originate in the skin, gastrointestinal system, urinary tract, or lungs. Sepsis can quickly result in organ failure, tissue damage, and even death if treatment is delayed.

3. Can sepsis be cured early?

Antibiotics may be able to treat the infection at home if sepsis is discovered early enough and hasn't yet damaged important organs. The majority of patients with sepsis who are diagnosed at this time recover well.

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