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Q.

What is the prognosis (outcome) with sepsis?

Related Topics: Sepsis
 

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A.

The prognosis of patients with sepsis is related to the severity or stage of sepsis, as well as to the underlying health status of the patient. For example, patients with sepsis and no ongoing sign of organ failure at the time of diagnosis have about a 15%-30% chance of death. Patients with severe sepsis or septic shock have a mortality (death) rate of about 40%-60%. Newborns and pediatric patients with sepsis have about a 9%-36% mortality rate. Investigators have developed a scoring system, called the MEDS score, based on the patient's symptoms to estimate prognosis.

There are a large number of complications that may occur with sepsis. The complications are related to the type of initial infection (for example, in lung infection with sepsis, a potential complication could be a need for respiratory support) and the severity of sepsis (for example, septic shock related to a limb infection that could require limb amputation). Consequently, each patient is likely to have the potential for complications related to the source of sepsis; in general, the complications are due to organ dysfunction, damage, or loss.

Physicians agree that the faster the patient with sepsis is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis and fewer the complications, if any, for the patient.

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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