What you need to know about septic shock

Septic shock is a dangerous condition that arises if the blood pressure drastically drops to a low level after an infection.

This lessens the amount of oxygen and blood that reaches the vital organs which prevents them from functioning properly. The condition can develop as a complication of sepsis which is a serious condition that arises if the reaction of the body to an infection damages its own organs and tissues.

Indications

septic-shock

The condition can develop as a complication of sepsis which is a serious condition that arises if the reaction of the body to an infection damages its own organs and tissues.

The indications of sepsis might arise initially. When it comes to septic shock, the symptoms might manifest if sepsis is not treated such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Feeling sick and episodes of vomiting
  • Changes in the mental status such as disorientation or confusion
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Cold, pale and clammy or mottled skin
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Reduced urine production
  • Loss of consciousness

Management of septic shock

The treatment for septic shock is carried out in an intensive care unit in a healthcare facility. In most cases, it includes:

  • Intravenous fluids and antibiotics
  • Medications that increase the blood pressure to help the blood reach the organs and tissues
  • Surgery to eliminate the source of the infection and any tissues that were significantly damaged by the infection
  • Administration of oxygen via a face mask, nasal tube or tube passed down the throat
  • Ventilator if breathlessness is severe

Remember that it is likely for an individual with septic shock to stay in a hospital for several weeks.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on septic shock is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this sudden medical emergency, register for a first aid and CPR course with Kelowna First Aid.

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