Symptoms N Options

Everything You Should Know About Sepsis!

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused as a result of your body’s response to infection

Our immune system defends us from several illness and infections, but it could get exhausted while responding to an infection. It occurs when chemicals from the immune system release in the bloodstream to fight an infection caused as a result of inflammation throughout the entire body instead. Extreme cases of sepsis could cause septic shock, and it is a case of a medical emergency.

There are around 1.5 million sepsis cases each year which has caused deaths too.

What are the symptoms of Sepsis?

There are three stages of sepsis that are sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. If any of the following symptoms are observed then the need for medical intervention, the sooner help is needed the chances of survival increases.

Here are the symptoms of Sepsis:

  • Fever above 101degreeF or temperature below 96.8degreeF
  • Heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute
  • The rate of breathing is more than 20 breaths per minute
  • Probable or confirmed infection

Symptoms of Severe Sepsis

Severe sepsis results due to organ failure, with either of the following symptoms it is deemed to be a case of severe sepsis.

  • Patches of discolored skin
  • Change in mental ability
  • Decrease in urination
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Abnormal functioning of the heart
  • Low platelet count
  • Extreme weakness
  • Chills due to a decrease in body temperature
  • Unconsciousness

Symptoms of Septic Shock

Symptoms of septic shock are the same as that of severe sepsis along with very low blood pressure.

What are the effects of Sepsis?

Sepsis is life-threatening, but at times the illness can range from mild to severe. Septic shock has a mortality rate as 50%. Also having severe sepsis could increase the risk of future infection. Severe sepsis or septic shock can cause some complications like small clots of blood can form throughout the body. These clots hinder the flow of blood and oxygen to vital organs and other parts of the body thus resulting in organ failure and tissue death.

What are the causes of Sepsis?

Any infection could cause sepsis, but the following infections are considered to be the common culprit:

  • Pneumonia
  • Infection of kidney
  • Infection of abdominal
  • Infection in bloodstream

It is being observed that over the years the cases of sepsis are increasing and the reason to it could be as follows:

  • An aging population, as sepsis is common with them
  • Increase in antibiotic resistance that happens when antibiotic loses its ability to defend the body from bacteria
  • Increase in the population of people with illness that affects the immunity system

Who can get affected by Sepsis?

Anyone get affected with the disease, but the people who are at high risk are as follows:

  • Young children and seniors
  • People who have a weak immune system like those who have HIV or have undergone chemotherapy
  • People exposed to invasive devices
  • People being treated in an intensive care unit

Sepsis in Newborns

Neonatal sepsis is a situation where the new baby gets blood infection in the first month. The timing of infection can classify neonatal sepsis occurred that it was contracted during the birth process or after the birth. Depending on the time the treatment for sepsis is decided. Low birth weight and premature babies are more susceptible to after birth sepsis as their immune systems are immature. The symptoms are subtle, but it could give the following signs:

  • Listlessness
  • Low body temperature
  • Apnea
  • Not breastfeeding properly
  • Pale color
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Fever
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Poor circulation of skin with cool extremities
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Feeding problems
  • Jitteriness

Neonatal sepsis cause infant death but with early detection and apt treatment it can help the baby recover. Maternal universal screening and proper neonatal testing the risks of neonatal sepsis has been decreased.

Sepsis in Senior Adults

The immunity system weakens as we age and thus seniors are more at risk. Chronic illness like diabetes cancer, high blood pressure, and HIV are usually found with sepsis.

How is Sepsis diagnosed?

Specific blood tests are required to determine the severity of the infection the test are as follows:

  • Infection
  • Clotting problems
  • Decrease amount of oxygen
  • Kidney function
  • Imbalance in minerals called electrolytes

As per the symptoms and result of the blood test, the doctor may ask for:

  • Urine test
  • Mucus secretion test
  • Wound secretion test

How to treat Sepsis?

Sepsis can progress quickly and result in septic shock and death if not treated. There are a lot of medications to treat sepsis:

  • Antibiotics via IV to fight infection
  • Insulin to stabilize blood sugar
  • Painkillers
  • Corticosteroids to decrease inflammation
  • Vasoactive medications to increase the blood pressure

One can recover from sepsis depending on its severity and the preexisting conditions that you may have.


  • Immunity Badao – Bimari Bhagao