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What is the pathophysiology of sepsis?

In today's understanding, sepsis is primarily a pathology of the immune system, triggered by an underlying infection but perpetuated by the host's response itself. Thereby, sepsis should not be categorized to be either a sole pro- or anti-inflammatory syndrome, but rather as a variable continuum of overlaying immune mechanisms.

What are the causes of sepsis?

Most sepsis is caused by bacterial infections, but it can also be caused by viral infections, such as COVID-19 or influenza; fungal infections; or noninfectious insults, such as traumatic injury. Normally, the body releases chemical or protein immune mediators into the blood to combat the infection or insult.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Sepsis causes fever, a rapid heart rate, and difficulty breathing, among other symptoms. It’s a serious condition that requires swift medical treatment. Severe sepsis can lead to septic shock, a medical emergency. Septic shock is associated with a significant drop in blood pressure, organ failure, and widespread tissue damage.

How is sepsis treated?

How is sepsis treated? Doctors typically treat people with sepsis in hospital intensive care units. They try to stop an infection, protect vital organs, and prevent a drop in blood pressure. This almost always includes the use of antibiotic medications and fluids.

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