What Is Sepsis? – Stages, Causes, Symptoms and more

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Sepsis is a life-threatening illness that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its very own tissues and organs in response to infection. It is also called septicaemia.

Sepsis is caused by inflammation (swelling) throughout the body. During Sepsis, inflammation and blood clotting restrict blood flow to limbs and essential organs, which can lead to organ failure and death.

What is Sepsis?

Bacterial infections are the most common cause of Sepsis. Fever, a racing heart and breathing problems are just a few of the signs of Sepsis. It is a critical condition that has to be treated as soon as possible.

Septic shock can result from severe Sepsis. Septic shock causes a reduction in blood pressure, organ failure and extensive tissue destruction.

Many species including bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause Sepsis. The lungs, brain, urinary tract, skin and abdominal organs are all common sites for the infection of Sepsis. Being very young or old and having a weaker immune system are also one of the main reasons for the cause of Sepsis.

Stages of Sepsis

Sepsis is classified into three types based on the condition and severity of the illness.


When an infection enters your bloodstream, it creates inflammation throughout your body.

Severe Sepsis

When one or more of your body’s organs are injured as a result of the inflammatory reaction, severe Sepsis develops. Your heart, brain, kidneys, lungs and liver can all be affected. The symptom depends on the affected organ.

Septic shock

Septic shock is a highly dangerous condition that develops when an infection causes your blood pressure to drop severely low.

This can result in a variety of significant problems including organ dysfunction, respiratory or cardiac failure and sometimes even death.

Sepsis Causes

The following are some of the vital causes of Sepsis:


An infection anywhere in the body including pneumonia can cause Sepsis and septic shock. Pneumonia damages the air sacs in the lungs.

Abdominal infections

Abdominal Sepsis occurs when your abdomen is affected by gram-negative, gram-positive and anaerobic bacteria.

The abdomen is the site of many infections that lead to Sepsis. Appendicitis, intestinal E. Coli infections, perforated colon and uterine infections are also one of the main reasons that affect the abdomen and abdomen lining.

Kidney infections 

A kidney infection can occasionally progress to a serious illness known as the Sepsis link, which can be fatal. Fever, chills, fast breathing and heart rate are all symptoms of Sepsis. A kidney infection that lasts for a long time can become chronic.

Blood poisoning 

Bacteremia, septicemia and Sepsis are all common terms for blood poisoning. Sepsis due to blood poisoning is a dangerous infection that needs to be treated immediately.

Sepsis Symptoms

Symptoms of Sepsis

Fever and chills

One of the common symptoms of Sepsis is chills and fever. Fever or chills, a fast heart rate and confusion are all symptoms of Sepsis. If you fear you have Sepsis, seek medical help promptly.

Very low body temperature

A high temperature (fever) or a low body temperature are early signs of Sepsis. Shivering and chills are essential reasons for the drop in body temperature.

Urination problem

Severe Sepsis patients may experience little or no urination. It is also possible that they’ll have breathing trouble. A person’s blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels and their organs may shut down as a result of septic shock.

Fast heartbeat

A heart rate of more than 90 beats per minute and a breathing rate of more than 22 breaths per minute are some of the vital symptoms of Sepsis.

Nausea and vomiting

Sepsis can destroy your organs, make breathing difficult and cause nausea and vomiting.


Diarrhea is one of the common symptoms of Sepsis. Most people who are diagnosed with Sepsis experience diarrhea very often.

Fatigue or weakness

Fatigue and weakness are general symptoms of Sepsis that may be accompanied by chills and fever.

Blotchy or discoloured skin

A hemorrhagic rash (a cluster of tiny blood spots that look like pinpricks in the skin) is common in people who have Sepsis. If left untreated, they will get larger and cause skin discolouration and injury.

Sweating or clammy skin

Chills, clammy skin and rashes are all possible symptoms of Sepsis. It occurs due to low body temperature and low blood pressure. In such cases, go to the hospital right away if you suspect Sepsis.

Severe pain

The discomfort due to Sepsis can be intense and it can also worsen the pain and lead to dehydration.

Newborns Sepsis

Newborn Sepsis or neonatal Sepsis is a blood infection that affects infants under the age of 90 days. After 1 week to 3 months of age, Sepsis can be developed in the child.

Bacteria are the most common cause of newborn Sepsis. However, it can also be caused by other germs. The newborn may be exposed to an infection in the birth canal during delivery.

Seniors and Sepsis

When Sepsis strikes a senior, the consequences might be significantly more severe. Sepsis can affect a patient’s mental health at any age, but it’s three times more common in the elderly.

How is Sepsis diagnosed?

Blood tests

A blood test can be taken to diagnose Sepsis if the person undergoes the following conditions:

  • Evidence of infection
  • Clotting problems
  • Abnormal liver or kidney function
  • Impaired oxygen availability
  • Electrolyte imbalances

Your doctor may also advise you to take urine and spinal fluid test to confirm the presence of Sepsis disease.

Ultrasound test

Sound waves are used to detect the presence of Sepsis. Using ultrasound technique, Sepsis in the gallbladder and kidneys can be detected.

Computerized tomography (CT) test

This technology uses a combination of X-rays from various angles to create cross-sectional slices of your body’s internal structures. CT scans make infections in the liver, pancreas and other abdominal organs more visible.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This technology creates cross-sectional or 3D photographs of the inside of your body using radio waves and a powerful magnet. MRIs are useful in detecting infections of soft tissues or bones.

How is Sepsis treated?

The sooner Sepsis is diagnosed and treated; the better chance is there for the patient to recover from it fully. People with Sepsis, especially those who have progressed to septic shock are frequently sent to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for supportive care and constant monitoring.

Intravenous (IV) antibiotics are the first-line treatment for Sepsis to help combat the infection. These should be given to the infant within an hour of his or her arrival at the hospital.

In addition, the doctor will administer medicines to assist the newborn infants to remain stable and limit the chance of subsequent difficulties. One or more of the following therapies may be used to treat Sepsis:

  • Electrolytes and IV fluids
  • Medication for the heart and blood pressure
  • Medications to keep the youngster tranquil, including ventilators to assist with breathing

Sepsis treatment can take a long time and may necessitate a hospital stay of several weeks. Treatment in an intensive care unit may be required in critical cases.

How can I help prevent Sepsis?

The only method to guarantee that you won’t acquire Sepsis is to avoid all infections that can cause it.

Here are some of the ways you can prevent Sepsis from affecting infants and elders:

  • Ensure that the child’s environment is clean.
  • Ensure that the child’s surroundings are clean and sanitary.
  • Any open wounds should be sterilised and treated until they have healed entirely.
  • Controlling any underlying health issues that could put a child at risk for infections or Sepsis.
  • Keep an eye on the child for any early signs of infection.

Recovery from Sepsis

The severity of your Sepsis and any pre-existing health concerns will determine how quickly you can recover from Sepsis. While many people recover completely, others experience long-term repercussions.

Some people heal completely within a short period of time. The time it takes to fully recover from Sepsis depends on several factors, including:

  • the severity of the Sepsis
  • the person’s overall health
  • how much time was spent in the hospital?
  • whether treatment was needed in an ICU?

During rehabilitation, some people develop long-term physical and psychological issues, such as:

  • feeling lethargic or excessively tired
  • muscle weakness
  • swollen limbs or joint pain
  • chest pain or breathlessness

Summing up

Sepsis and Septic shock are deadly infections but it’s crucial to keep in mind that it creates virulent complication during pregnancy.

Women who receive proper prenatal care have a lower risk of developing Sepsis and Septic shock. It’s critical to contact your doctor straight away if you notice any strange symptoms to avoid further damage.


How does someone get a Sepsis blood infection?

Sepsis occurs when an existing infection aggravates and destroys its own body tissues. Sepsis is caused by infections that begin in the lungs, urinary tract, skin or gastrointestinal system.

Can you recover from blood Sepsis?

The majority of people recover completely from Sepsis. However, it may take some time and effective treatment under the care of a doctor to recover from blood Sepsis.

Can you live a normal life after Sepsis?

Yes, you can live a normal and carefree life after Sepsis. It is mandatory to follow the doctor’s advice and tips after the treatment.

Can Sepsis cause permanent damage? 

Sepsis can sometimes take years of treatment and care to recover from the condition. Untreated Sepsis may cause permanent damage to the body.

How long is a hospital stay with Sepsis?

Severe Sepsis necessitates prompt treatment in a critical care unit for one month or longer. Recovery is possible, but it will take longer.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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