Life After Sepsis


Now that you or someone you care about has survived sepsis, you may have many questions about what comes next. According to statistics, there are more than 1.4 million sepsis survivors every year in the United States alone. Many who survive are left with life-changing challenges.

Some of the long-lasting effects of sepsis are obvious, such as missing limbs or organ dysfunction, like kidney failure. How long it takes for the body’s organs to begin working properly again varies widely between people. Other after effects of sepsis are less obvious, such as memory loss or the inability to do simple arithmetic.

There is so much that we don’t know yet about sepsis and we don’t have many hard answers. But as sepsis becomes more present in the news and as more people ask and talk about it, using the word, it is being noticed. As attention increases, through efforts by the general public and by Sepsis Alliance, we will get more answers.

In September 2010, the Society of Critical Care Medicine in the United States held a conference to discuss issues relating to rehabilitation for patients recovering from severe illnesses, like sepsis. Dr. Carl Flatley, founder of Sepsis Alliance, participated. The rehabilitation – or after care – is needed not only in the hospital environment, but at home as part of community care.

Through conferences like this, experts are learning about how survivors need to be helped following critical illnesses. As medical technology improves and saves more lives, this issue will only continue to grow.

The conference participants concluded that there is an urgent need to address the long-term needs of survivors of severe illnesses, like sepsis, for both the patients and their families. This includes raising awareness and education, identifying barriers that may get in the way of post-intensive care rehabilitation, and identifying research gaps and resources that need to be addressed in order to improve long-term care for survivors.

Here are some of the more common issues and questions that are asked by people who have had sepsis or who know someone who had it. 


Life After Sepsis

Post-Sepsis Syndrome (PSS)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Read what PTSD is, how it is diagnosed, and some ways it may be treated.


Read about why amputations are sometimes necessary when someone has sepsis and what happens after. Some resources are listed.


Life After Sepsis FAQs