Common infections can lead to sepsis. Know the signs & symptoms. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body.
Healthcare providers are key to preventing infections and illnesses that can lead to sepsis.
- Educate patients and their families about the early symptoms of severe infection and sepsis, and when to seek care for an infection, especially those at higher risk.
- Remind patients that taking care of chronic illnesses helps prevent infections.
- Encourage infection prevention measures, such as hand hygiene and vaccination against infections.
Common infections can lead to sepsis.
Among adults with sepsis:
- 35% had a lung infection (e.g., pneumonia)
- 25% had a urinary tract infection (e.g., kidney infection)
- 11% had a type of gut infection
- 11% had a skin infection
Know the signs and symptoms of sepsis.
- Shivering, fever, or very cold
- Extreme pain or discomfort
- Clammy or sweaty skin
- Confusion or disorientation
- Short of breath
- High heart rate
SOURCE: CDC Vital Signs, August 2016.