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What causes sepsis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Sepsis is usually caused from a bacterial infection in the body. These infections are generally contracted in hospital settings. Sepsis can also be caused through medical procedures or surgeries that involve the insertion of something artificial into the body, which is another possible way to introduce bacteria.

Sepsis is caused by a serious infection that is not treated well enough. If serious infections aren’t treated, the germs can spread across the whole body, giving people sepsis. This means they will have to go to the hospital until they are better.

Dr. Leigh Vinocur, MD
Emergency Medicine Specialist

Any infection can potentially lead to sepsis if not treated properly. However, some of the more common infections that can lead to sepsis are pneumonias, abdominal infections from diverticulitis (a condition were outpouching of the colon forms small pockets where food can get stuck and cause infection), appendicitis, urinary tract infections, hospital-acquired infections from IV catheters or invasive procedures and implanted medical devices, such as artificial joints.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.