What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.  Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body.

​Sepsis can occur from bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infections, but the vast majority of sepsis cases come from bacterial infections.  

​Common causes of sepsis include pneumonia, urinary tract infections, kidney or gall stones and appendicitis.  Sepsis can also occur from something as simple as a scrape on the knee or elbow to a nicked cuticle.

​In hospitalized patients, common sites of infection include IV lines, surgical incisions, urinary catheters and bed sores. 

Sepsis Symptoms

There is no single sign or symptom of sepsis.  It is, rather, a combination of symptoms.  Since sepsis is the result of an infection, symptoms can include infection signs (diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, etc.), as well as ANY of the symptoms below:

  • S - Shivering, fever, very cold

  • E - Extreme pain or general      discomfort ("worst ever")

  • P - Pale or discolored skin

  • S - Sleepy, difficult to rouse,      confused

  • I - "I feel like I might die"

  • S - Short of breath

Severe Sepsis - sepsis plus one or more organs failing

Septic Shock - severe sepsis plus dangerously low blood pressure that doesn't respond to fluid resuscitation

Sepsis Facts

Sepsis affects over 1.6 million Americans annually with an estimated mortality 

rate between 28% and 50%!

Sepsis accounts for 38 amputations a day and kills 258,000 people a year in the US, more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDs, obesity and drug overdoses combined!

​Sepsis mortality rate increases 7.6% every hour sepsis goes undiagnosed/untreated.

​Sepsis survivors are often left with amputations ranging from fingers and toes to bilateral below-knee and bilateral 

below-elbow amputations; mental/cognitive deficiencies;  psychological impacts; organ damage; hearing loss; anxiety; insomnia and extreme fatigue.

Sepsis is the most expensive medical condition treated 

in US hospitals costing 

$27 billion a year.

Medical Disclaimer

Medical Disclaimer:  The information contained on this website, including but not limited to text, images and other material, is for informational purposes only.  The purpose of this website is to increase awareness of sepsis and is NOT intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, 

diagnosis or treatment.  

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, including whether the information on this website might apply to their individual treatment or medical condition.

If you believe you have a medical emergency, you should immediately call 911 and seek immediate medical treatment.