Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Sepsis (Septic Shock)
Sepsis is an extreme immune system response to an infection that
has spread throughout the blood and tissues. Severe sepsis, also called septic shock, often causes
extremely low blood pressure, which limits blood flow to the body and can
result in organ failure and death.
Symptoms of sepsis include either fever or low body temperature,
rapid breathing, chills and shaking, rapid heartbeat, decreased urine output,
and confusion or delirium.
Sepsis is most often the result of a bacterial infection, but it
can also be caused by other types of infection. Sepsis can occur in
people of any age, but it is more common in infants, older adults, and people who
have compromised immune systems.
Sepsis is treated with antibiotics, fluids, and medicines to
support blood pressure and prevent organ damage.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.