Septic Shock

There are three stages to sepsis: sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. Severe sepsis occurs when there is organ damage, resulting from the body’s inflammation. Severe sepsis becomes septic shock if your blood pressure drops too low. In addition to the symptoms of sepsis and severe sepsis, symptoms of septic shock can include

  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Lower than normal body temperature
  • Rapid breathing

You may have a higher risk of going into septic shock if you have a chronic illness, like diabetes or an illness that affects your immune system (such as AIDS).

Rapid identification and treatment of septic shock is vital to increase the chances of survival. For every hour that appropriate treatment is delayed, the chances of surviving drops by about 8%.

Many of septic shock survivors experience long-lasting complications related to their illness, both physically and mentally. To learn more about septic shock, visit Sepsis and Septic Shock, part of the Sepsis and… library. And for issues that can affect severe sepsis survivors, visit the Post-Sepsis Syndrome page and Life After Sepsis.