Septic Shock Takes the Life of Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen

October 24, 2018
paul allen, sepsis, septic shock, cancer
Paul Allen at the Ebola Innovation Summit in April of 2015. Credit: Courtesy of Vulcan Inc.

Last week, Sepsis Alliance was saddened to learn of the passing of visionary businessman and philanthropist Paul Allen. On Friday, several news sources revealed that the Microsoft co-founder and owner of the Seattle Seahawks succumbed to septic shock, which resulted from his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“Sepsis Alliance extends its deepest condolences to Paul Allen’s family and loved ones during this difficult time,” said Thomas Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “Due to their suppressed immune system and frequent hospital stays, people with cancer are more susceptible to infection and infections can lead to sepsis.”

Unfortunately, Paul Allen’s experience was not unique. People with cancer are at a higher risk of developing sepsis – the body’s life-threatening response to an infection. An American study published in 2004 found that patients with cancer were much more likely to be hospitalized with severe sepsis (the stage just before septic shock) than the general population. To learn more about sepsis and cancer visit

To read more about Paul Allen’s life, click here.