- Bacterial—most common
- Fungal infections
|An infection of the lungs has spread throughout the body, leading to septic shock.|
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- Weakened immune system
- Absence of your spleen
- Low white blood cell counts
- Chronic diseases
- Previous surgery
- Fever, which may be followed by a drop in body temperature to below normal
- Warm, flushed skin
- Rapid, pounding heartbeat
- Rapid breathing or trouble breathing
- Reduced alertness
- Irregular blood pressure
- Reduced urination
- Severe bleeding (Disseminated intravascular coagulation)
- Blood tests to assess white blood cell counts and inflammatory markers that might indicate how serious the infection is, and oxygen levels and kidney function to assess damage to specific organs.
- Cultures to check for infectious organisms
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) to check for heart rhythm irregularities
- Imaging tests may be used to look for specific sources of infection, such as pneumonia
Supportive Measures for Shock
- IV fluids
- Medications to increase blood pressure and blood flow to your organs
- Extra oxygen
- Corticosteroids may be needed to reduce the inflammatory response, especially if fluids aren't working
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Society of Critical Care Medicine http://www.sccm.org
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians http://www.caep.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Behrman RE, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2007.
Dellinger RP, Levy MM, et al. Surviving sepsis campaign: international guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2012. Crit Care Med. 2013;41(2):580-637.
Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Internal Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008.
Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine.7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc.; 2009.
Sepsis and septic shock. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/critical%5Fcare%5Fmedicine/sepsis%5Fand%5Fseptic%5Fshock/sepsis%5Fand%5Fseptic%5Fshock.html. Updated July 2013. Accessed November 6, 2015.
Sepsis fact sheet. National Institute of General Medical Sciences website. Available at: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Pages/factsheet%5Fsepsis.aspx. Updated August 2014. Accessed November 6, 2015.
Sepsis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 21, 2015. Accessed November 6, 2015.
Sepsis treatment in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 27, 2015. Accessed November 6, 2015.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2015 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -