Immunology

Secret to sepsis may lie in rare cell

In a paper published in Nature Immunology, scientists from Seattle Children's Research Institute reveal how a rare group of white blood cells called basophils play an important role in the immune response to a bacterial infection, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New sepsis treatment a step closer

Australian emergency doctors are at the forefront of a large clinical study to assess how clinicians are treating sepsis.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Study identifies sepsis symptoms that lead to death

Using patient records from 210,289 hospital visits between 2013 and 2016, Drexel University researchers have identified the specific symptoms that put patients at the greatest risk of dying from sepsis—and they're not what ...

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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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