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What is sepsis?

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Sepsis is a condition caused by your body’s immune system working overtime to fight infection. It’s sometimes called septicemia.

The large number of chemicals released into the blood during this process triggers widespread inflammation. This can lead to organ damage. Blood clotting during sepsis reduces blood flow to limbs and internal organs. This deprives them of nutrients and oxygen. In severe cases, one or more organs may fail.

In the worst cases, sepsis leads to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure. Doctors call this septic shock. It can quickly lead to the failure of several organs -- lungs, kidneys, and liver. This can be fatal in some cases.

From: What is Sepsis? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Scripps Research Institute: "Sepsis." Cleveland Clinic: "Sepsis Overview." National Institute of General Medical Sciences: "Sepsis Fact Sheet." MedlinePlus.gov: "Septic Shock," "Septicemia." University of Maryland Medical Center: "Sepsis-Overview." NYU Langone Medical Center: "Blood Poisoning." Institute for Transfusion Medicine: "DIC, Inflammation, Sepsis and Activated Protein C (APC)."













National Institute of General Medical Sciences: "Sepsis Fact Sheet."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 7, 2019

SOURCES: Scripps Research Institute: "Sepsis." Cleveland Clinic: "Sepsis Overview." National Institute of General Medical Sciences: "Sepsis Fact Sheet." MedlinePlus.gov: "Septic Shock," "Septicemia." University of Maryland Medical Center: "Sepsis-Overview." NYU Langone Medical Center: "Blood Poisoning." Institute for Transfusion Medicine: "DIC, Inflammation, Sepsis and Activated Protein C (APC)."













National Institute of General Medical Sciences: "Sepsis Fact Sheet."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 7, 2019

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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