Sepsis (Blood Poisoning)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Sepsis (blood poisoning) facts
- What is blood poisoning?
- What is sepsis?
- Why are there so many diseases with "sepsis," "septic," "septicemia," or "blood poisoning" in their name?
- What causes sepsis?
- What are the risk factors for sepsis?
- What are the signs or symptoms of sepsis (blood poisoning)?
- How is sepsis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for sepsis?
- What is the prognosis (outcome) with sepsis?
- What are the complications of sepsis?
- How can sepsis (blood poisoning) be prevented?
- What are some additional sources for information on sepsis (blood poisoning)?
Sepsis (blood poisoning) facts
- Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening medical condition that's associated with an infection; the infection's signs and symptoms must fulfill a minimum of two criteria of a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).
- Blood poisoning is a nonmedical term that usually refers to the medical condition known as sepsis.
- The major SIRS criteria are an increased heart rate, fever, and increased respiratory rate; the young and the elderly may show other early signs and symptoms of sepsis sometimes before exhibiting SIRS criteria.
- The majority of cases of sepsis are due to bacterial infection.
- Sepsis is treated with hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics, and therapy to support any organ dysfunction.
- Prevention of infections and early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis are the best ways to prevent sepsis or reduce the problems sepsis causes.
- The prognosis depends on the severity of sepsis as well as the underlying health status of the patient; in general, the elderly have the worst prognosis.
What is blood poisoning?
Blood poisoning is a nonspecific term used mainly by nonmedical individuals that describes, in the broadest sense, any adverse medical condition(s) due to the presence of any toxic agent in the blood. Usually, the layperson using the term blood poisoning is referring to the medical condition(s) that arise when bacteria or their products (or both) reach the blood. Blood poisoning is not a medical term and does not appear in many medical dictionaries or scientific publications. However, when it is used, the correct medical term that most closely matches its intended meaning is sepsis. Many medical authors consider the terms blood poisoning and sepsis to be interchangeable, but the trend in the medical literature is to use the term sepsis.
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