Septic shock

  • Alternative Names

    Bacteremic shock; Endotoxic shock; Septicemic shock; Warm shock


    Septic shock can affect any part of the body, including the heart, brain, kidneys, liver, and intestines. Symptoms may include:

    • Cool, pale extremities
    • High or very low temperature, chills
    • Lightheadedness
    • Low blood pressure, especially when standing
    • Low or absent urine output
    • Palpitations
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Restlessness, agitation, lethargy, or confusion
    • Shortness of breath
    • Skin rash or discoloration

    Signs and tests

    Blood tests may be done to check for infection, low blood oxygen level, disturbances in the body's acid-base balance, or poor organ function or organ failure.

    A chest x-ray may show pneumonia or fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema).

    A urine sample may show infection.

    Additional studies, such as blood cultures, may not become positive for several days after the blood has been taken, or for several days after the shock has developed.