Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Warning Signs Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause

Sepsis Overview

What is sepsis?
A person with sepsis has a life-threatening infection of the bloodstream. Sepsis may occur in two ways. First, sepsis may be caused by needles, which mistakenly introduce bacteria into the bloodstream. Second, sepsis may be caused by bacteria that spread into the bloodstream from an infection in another organ. The most common sources of sepsis are bacterial infections of the skin, lungs, bone, and abdominal organs. Sepsis is more common in those who have a weak immune system. About 3 out of 1,000 people develop sepsis in the US each year.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?
Symptoms of sepsis include fever, arm swelling, leg swelling, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, rapid pulse, muscle aches, fatigue, rash, confusion, and coma.

How does the doctor treat sepsis?
Treatment for sepsis may include intravenous fluids, cardiac monitoring, oxygen therapy, antibiotics, medications for low blood pressure, and surgery to remove infected tissue.

Continue to Sepsis Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Sepsis References
  1. Das UN. Critical advances in septicemia and septic shock. Crit Care. 2000;4(5):290-6. [11094508]
  2. Foley RN, Guo H, Snyder JJ, Gilbertson DT, Collins AJ. Septicemia in the United States dialysis population, 1991 to 1999. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2004 Apr;15(4):1038-45. [15034107]
  3. Singh SA, Dutta S, Narang A. Predictive clinical scores for diagnosis of late onset neonatal septicemia. J Trop Pediatr. 2003 Aug;49(4):235-9. [12929886]
  4. Venditti M, Serra P. Overview of septicemia. J Chemother. 1991 Jan;3 Suppl 1:7-14. [12041791]
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