Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Study of severe COVID-19 helps uncover the roots of sepsis

Sepsis is a dreaded, life-threatening condition that can occur when an infection spins out of control. Like a tsunami after an earthquake, sepsis occurs when an infection triggers a dysregulation of the immune system, which ...

Medical research

Federal policy to reduce deaths from sepsis was mostly ineffective

The first large-scale, multi-hospital evaluation of an "all or none" federal policy intended to improve outcomes in sepsis patients finds that the guidelines are a wash—on average they neither helped nor hurt despite significant ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Repurposed heart and flu drugs may help body fight sepsis

Despite continued improvements in antibiotics and hospital intensive care, staph sepsis—a bloodstream infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria—still causes severe illness or death in 20 to 30 percent of patients ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Better hospital nurse staffing tied to fewer sepsis deaths

(HealthDay)—Improving hospital nurse staffing could significantly reduce deaths from sepsis, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Sepsis

Sepsis is a serious medical condition characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state (called a systemic inflammatory response syndrome or SIRS) and the presence of a known or suspected infection. The body may develop this inflammatory response to microbes in the blood, urine, lungs, skin, or other tissues. An incorrect layman's term for sepsis is blood poisoning, more aptly applied to Septicemia, below.

Septicemia (also septicæmia [sep⋅ti⋅cæ⋅mi⋅a], or erroneously Septasemia and Septisema) is a related but deprecated (formerly sanctioned medical) term referring to the presence of pathogenic organisms in the blood-stream, leading to sepsis. The term has not been sharply defined. It has been inconsistently used in the past by medical professionals, for example as a synonym of bacteremia, causing some confusion. The present medical consensus is therefore that the term[which?] is problematic and should be avoided.

Sepsis is usually treated in the intensive care unit with intravenous fluids and antibiotics. If fluid replacement is insufficient to maintain blood pressure, specific vasopressor drugs can be used. Artificial ventilation and dialysis may be needed to support the function of the lungs and kidneys, respectively. To guide therapy, a central venous catheter and an arterial catheter may be placed. Sepsis patients require preventive measures for deep vein thrombosis, stress ulcers and pressure ulcers, unless other conditions prevent this. Some patients might benefit from tight control of blood sugar levels with insulin (targeting stress hyperglycemia), low-dose corticosteroids or activated drotrecogin alfa (recombinant protein C).

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