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- 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
- Reduced alertness
- Irregular blood pressure
- Reduced urination
- Complete blood tests to assess white blood cell counts, inflammatory markers, oxygen levels, and kidney function
- 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. Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/critical%5Fcare%5Fmedicine/sepsis%5Fand%5Fseptic%5Fshock/sepsis%5Fand%5Fseptic%5Fshock.html?qt=septic shock&alt=sh. Updated July 2013. Accessed December 30, 2013.
Sepsis fact sheet. National Institute of General Medical Sciences website. Available at: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Pages/factsheet%5Fsepsis.aspx. Updated November 2012. Accessed December 30, 2013.
Sepsis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 28, 2013. Accessed December 30, 2013.
Sepsis treatment in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 28, 2013. Accessed December 30, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 12/30/2013