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Sepsis is a condition that occurs when the body's response causes damage to its own tissues and organs. A bacteria most commonly cause it. It can also be caused by a virus, fungus, or parasite. The most common sites of infection are the urinary tract, skin, lungs, brain, and abdominal organs. People with a weakened immune system, diabetes, cancer, or who have suffered a trauma or severe burns are at risk for sepsis. It can also arise from organisms acquired while in the hospital. The most common bacteria associated with sepsis are staphylococci, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella. Fungal sepsis is the most likely form to develop into septic shock. The key to management of sepsis is early diagnosis. It is important that drug therapy is begun as soon as possible. This is the key to preventing sepsis from resulting in death. The longer the sepsis remains untreated, the higher the chance becomes that it will cause organ damage. Time is of the essence when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. In some cases, the removal of fluid build-up in areas may be necessary.

The treatment of sepsis most likely will take place in a hospital. Medication will help to resolve the infection and also to help with conditions resulting from it such as increased heart rate or low blood pressure. Survival rates from sepsis depend on the severity of the infection and how quickly the condition is brought under control.    

Common Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure

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