sepsi-, sep-, septi-, septico-, septo-, -sepsis, -septic, -septicemia, -septicemic
(Greek: decay, rot, putrefactive)
2. The poisoned condition resulting from the presence of pathogens or their poisonous conditions; putrefaction, putrescence: Air, together with a moderate amount of warmth and moisture, is necessary for the existence of sepsis.
During the process of sepses, various gases and vapors are evolved, and the lower forms of animal and vegetable life grow and multiply in the putrefying substance. The active causes of putrefaction, or sepsis, depend on the growth and activity of microorganisms.
The changes that take place in a wound when organisms gain entrance to it and flourish on its discharges are collectively known as sepses or "septic processes".
Even the most beneficial bacteria can cause serious illness if they wind up where they are not supposed to be; for example, in the blood (causing sepsis) or in the web of tissue between the abdominal organs (causing peritonitis).
Sepsis is a serious and often deadly illness, yet it remains an unfamiliar threat to most of the general public, as well as one of the most difficult diseases for doctors to diagnose and treat.
The condition, which begins with an aggressive immune system reaction to an infection, kills 18 million people around the world every year, including around 260,000 in the U.S. By many estimates, sepsis—and its most severe form, septic shock—is the leading cause of death for intensive care patients in the U.S. and the 10th most common cause of death for everyone else in the country.
Only one in five Americans recognizes the term, according to a 2011 study commissioned by the nonprofit group "Sepsis Alliance", and of those survey participants who had heard of sepsis, most could not define it.
Even physicians, who learn about sepsis in medical school, often miss the early signs of sepses because they mimic other disorders and because the illness progresses so rapidly from what looks like a mild infection to a life-threatening situation.
As a result of these difficulties, doctors are often too late to start the necessary interventions; such as, antibiotics to obliterate the infection, drugs to counteract a perilous drop in blood pressure, and a mechanical ventilator to raise dangerously low oxygen levels.
2. Produced by decay or morbid germs: The medical investigation determine that the condition of the patient's septic poisoning was possibly caused by the use of a non-sterilized surgical instrument during his operation.
3. Heavily polluted; a reference to a habitat or zone of fresh water rich in decomposing organic matter, high in carbon dioxide and very low in dissolved oxygen: The pond on the farm seemed to be very septic because of poor drainage.
Toxins or poisons that are released by a bacteria, or fungus, may cause direct tissue damage to the body and can lead to low blood pressure and poor organ functions which cause a strong inflammatory response from the body that contributes to a septic shock.
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2. A systemic disease caused by pathogenic organisms or their toxins in the bloodstream: Also known as blood poisoning, septicemia is a condition that is caused by the spread of germs and their infective elements via the circulating blood.
Bacteria often commonly enter the bloodstream (a condition called "bacteremia" or blood poisoning), but usually only a small number of bacteria do this and so no symptoms develop of septicemia.
Most bacteria that enter the bloodstream are rapidly removed by white blood cells. Sometimes there are too many bacteria to be removed easily, and septicemia can develop.
A sickness that is widespread throughout the bloodstream is called "sepsis", or septicemia, which can cause severe symptoms of illness.