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Main Sepsis Symptoms

There are three stages of sepsis: sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock. Sepsis can happen while you’re still in the hospital recovering from a procedure, but this isn’t always the case.

It’s important to seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the below symptoms. The earlier you seek treatment, the greater your chances of survival.


Sepsis. Symptoms of sepsis include:
a fever above 101ºF or a temperature below 96.8ºF
heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute
breathing rate higher than 20 breaths per minute
probable or confirmed infection


Severe sepsis. Severe sepsis occurs when there’s organ failure. You must have one or more of the following signs to be diagnosed with severe sepsis:
patches of discolored skin
decreased urination
changes in mental ability
low platelet (blood clotting cells) count
problems breathing
abnormal heart functions
chills due to fall in body temperature


Septic shock. Symptoms of septic shock include the symptoms of severe sepsis, plus a very low blood pressure.


The serious effects of sepsis. Although sepsis is potentially life-threatening, the illness ranges from mild to severe. There’s a higher rate of recovery in mild cases. Septic shock has a 50 percent mortality rate, according to the Mayo Clinic. Having a case of severe sepsis increases your risk of a future infection. Severe sepsis or septic shock can also cause complications. Small blood clots can form throughout your body. These clots block the flow of blood and oxygen to vital organs and other parts of your body. This increases the risk of organ failure and tissue death (gangrene).

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