What Causes Sepsis?

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Sepsis is a complication that can occur with viral, bacterial or fungal infections when substances the body releases in response to the illness cause severe inflammation, according to Healthline. The most common illnesses that can lead to sepsis include pneumonia, kidney infections and infections of the bloodstream.

Additional infections that are known to trigger sepsis in certain individuals include bowel infections, cellulitis infections of the skin, gallbladder infections and meningitis of the brain, explains MedlinePlus. Symptoms of sepsis include fever, chills, disorientation, dizziness caused by low blood pressure, tremors and skin that is warm to the touch. The condition can be life-threatening, so it is imperative for people experiencing symptoms to seek immediate medical attention.

While anyone can become infected with sepsis, people with a higher risk of developing the condition include infants, elderly individuals with health conditions, and individuals with lowered immune systems due to illnesses such as cancer, according to WebMD. Tests used to detect sepsis include ultrasounds, white blood cell tests and X-rays. Individuals with severe cases of sepsis are typically placed in intensive care for the duration of treatment. Treatment options include broad-spectrum antibiotic medications to eradicate bacteria, oxygen and intravenous fluids. In certain cases, kidney dialysis treatments or surgical drainage procedures are required.