Sepsis Causes

Many different microbes can cause sepsis. Although bacteria are most commonly the cause, viruses and fungi can also cause sepsis. Infections in the lungs (pneumonia), bladder and kidneys (urinary tract infections), skin (cellulitis), abdomen (such as appendicitis), and other organs (such as meningitis) can spread and lead to sepsis. Infections that develop after surgery can also lead to sepsis.

Who is at risk for sepsis?

  • Very young people and elderly people
  • Anyone who is taking immunosuppressive medications (such as transplant recipients ).
  • People who are being treated with chemotherapy drugs or radiation
  • Patients who have no spleen
  • Patients taking steroids (especially over the long-term)
  • People with long-standing diabetes, AIDS, or cirrhosis
  • Someone who has very large burns or severe injuries
  • People with infections such as the following:
    • Pneumonia
    • Meningitis
    • Cellulitis
    • Urinary tract infection
    • Ruptured appendix
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