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What are the symptoms of sepsis?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of sepsis include fever with shaking chills or a very low body temperature, a decrease in urination, a rapid heart rate and rapid breathing, explains WebMD. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

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What are the symptoms of sepsis?
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Full Answer

Sepsis is a process that occurs in three stages. It begins with basic sepsis, develops into severe sepsis and then progresses to septic shock, according to Mayo Clinic. Severe sepsis causes a significant decrease in urine production, a sudden change in mental status, a decreased platelet count, difficulty breathing and an abnormal heart function. The diagnosis of septic shock is made when patients exhibit the signs and symptoms of sepsis plus a severely low blood pressure that does not respond to fluid replacement.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that begins with an infection, explains Mayo Clinic. The body responds to the infection by releasing a number of inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream, which causes a cascade of changes. The inflammatory chemicals damage the organs and cause them to fail. Infections that cause sepsis include pneumonia, abdominal infections, kidney infections and blood stream infections.

The risk for developing sepsis is highest in adults over the age of 65, patients infected with a drug-resistant bacteria and people who have a dysfunction of the immune system, describes Mayo Clinic. Early and aggressive treatment of sepsis is associated with a better chance of survival. Treatment includes antibiotics, vasopressors, supportive care and surgery.

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