Sepsis

Sepsis is the body's extreme response to an infection. Sepsis can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure and death without timely treatment. Sepsis is a medical emergency. Time matters.

Sepsis happens when an existing infection in your skin, lungs, urinary tract, gut or somewhere else spreads and triggers a chain reaction through your body. Sepsis is most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and some types of Streptococcus.

SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:

  • Confusion or disorientation
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  • Shortness of breath
  • High heart rate
  • Fever, shivering, or feeling very cold
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Clammy or sweaty skin

WHO IS AT RISK?

Anyone can get an infection, and almost any infection can lead to sepsis. However, some people are at higher risk than others, including:

  • Adults 65 or older
  • People with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Children in the first year of life, especially newborns

HELP PREVENT SEPSIS:

  • Talk to your doctor.
  • Take good care of chronic conditions.
  • Get recommended vaccines.
  • Know the symptoms: confusion or disorientation, shortness of breath, high heart rate, fever, shivering, or feeling very cold, extreme pain or discomfort, clammy or sweaty skin.
  • Practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands and keeping cuts clean until healed.
  • Act fast! Seek immediate medical care when an infection is not getting better or if it is getting worse.

Learn more about sepsis