• Alternative Names

    Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)


    In sepsis, blood pressure drops, resulting in shock. Major organs and body systems, including the kidneys, liver, lungs, and central nervous system, stop working properly.

    A change in mental status and hyperventilation may be the earliest signs of sepsis.

    In general, symptoms of sepsis can include:

    • Chills
    • Confusion or delirium
    • Decreased urine output
    • Fever or low body temperature (hypothermia)
    • Hyperventilation
    • Lightheadedness due to low blood pressure
    • Rapid heart beat
    • Shaking
    • Skin rash
    • Warm skin

    Signs and tests

    The infection is often confirmed by a blood test. However, a blood test may not reveal infection in people who have been receiving antibiotics.

    Other tests that may be done include:

    • Blood gases
    • Kidney function tests
    • Platelet count
    • White blood cell count
    • Blood differential
    • Fibrin degradation products
    • Peripheral smear