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Sepsis (Septic Shock)

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Sepsis is an extreme immune system response to an infection that has spread throughout the blood and tissues. Severe sepsis, also called septic shock, often causes extremely low blood pressure, which limits blood flow to the body and can result in organ failure and death.

Symptoms of sepsis include either fever or low body temperature, rapid breathing, chills and shaking, rapid heartbeat, decreased urine output, and confusion or delirium.

Recommended Related to

Understanding Encephalitis -- Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose encephalitis, your doctor will consider your symptoms and ask about any recent illnesses and possible exposure to viruses -- being near others who are ill or near mosquitoes or ticks, for example. Your doctor may also order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, spinal tap, or an electroencephalogram (EEG). Blood tests to check for the presence of bacteria or viruses and immune cells produced in response to them can also be helpful. Rarely, an analysis of a brain tissue sample...

Read the Understanding Encephalitis -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

Sepsis is most often the result of a bacterial infection, but it can also be caused by other types of infection. Sepsis can occur in people of any age, but it is more common in infants, older adults, and people who have compromised immune systems.

Sepsis is treated with antibiotics, fluids, and medicines to support blood pressure and prevent organ damage.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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