What is bacterial sepsis?

Updated: Feb 05, 2019
  • Author: Amber Mahmood Bokhari, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Sepsis is a life-threatening syndrome usually caused by bacterial infection. Sepsis is a response of the body's immune system that results in organ dysfunction or failure. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria were recently replaced by the quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) in 2016, allowing for quick bedside analysis of organ dysfunction in patients with suspected or documented infection. The qSOFA score includes a respiratory rate of 22 breaths/minute or more, systolic blood pressure of 100 mm Hg or less, and altered level of consciousness. [1, 2] For completeness, severe sepsis is defined as sepsis complicated by organ dysfunction.

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