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Sepsis (Blood Infection) and Septic Shock

Sepsis Treatment continued...

Sepsis treatment usually begins with:

  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which kill many types of bacteria
  • IV fluids to maintain blood pressure
  • Oxygen to maintain normal blood oxygen

Once the infectious agent is identified, the doctor can switch to a drug that targets that particular agent. Depending on the severity and effects of sepsis, other types of treatment, such as a breathing machine or kidney dialysis, may be needed. Sometimes surgery is necessary to drain or clean an infection.

Often doctors prescribe other treatments, including vasopressors (drugs that cause the blood vessels to narrow) to improve blood pressure.

Permanent organ damage can occur in people who survive sepsis. Death rates are 20% for sepsis and over 60% for septic shock.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on December 16, 2012
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