Septic shock

A septic shock is a critical life-threatening condition that leads to death in the majority of cases. Learn more now!

Septic shock

On septic shock is a critical, life-threatening condition that leads to death in the majority of cases. In the final stage of sepsis, this happens with an extreme drop in blood pressure, which prevents the heart from adequately filling the dilated blood vessels with blood. The result is a shortage of vital organs, including the brain.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in doctor's letters or on incapacity certificates. R57

Septic shock

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Septic shock

  • Septic shock: course

  • Septic shock: prognosis

Septic shock: course

A septic shock always occurs only in connection with a previous blood poisoning (sepsis). This means that there is a pathogen that has reached the patient's bloodstream and against which the immune system could not defend itself sufficiently. Small blood clots and inflammatory reactions throughout the body damage many vital organs.

In addition, the messenger substances of the immune system dilate the vessels in an attempt to continue to supply blood to all organs and body tissues. A reaction that overwhelms the heart to such an extent, because at the same time large amounts of blood drown in the body periphery. So it comes in a septic shock to a sharp drop in blood pressure, which quickly takes life-threatening proportions.

risk factors

Certain groups of people are particularly at risk for sepsis or septic shock. In general, this applies to all persons whose immune system is not completely healthy or people who are exposed to large amounts of pathogens. Among the most endangered people are patients with:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diseases of the urinary / genital tract
  • Catheters, implants, stents or prostheses
  • recently performed surgical procedures
  • Immunodeficiency (HIV / AIDS)
  • Blood cancer (leukemia)
  • long-term use of chemotherapeutic agents, antibiotics or cortisone preparations
  • Very young and very old patients

Septic shock: prognosis

A septic shock is a medical emergency and must be treated with intensive care. This will require a variety of treatment approaches. The patient is artificially ventilated (intubated). Furthermore, an attempt is made to maintain his blood pressure with vasoconstricting agents and infusions. By removing the source of infection, the doctors try to support the patient's body in its fight against the infection. Nevertheless, about 60 percent of all patients die of this disease. The prognosis is worsened by the fact that most patients already had a weakened immune system before the septic shock. (See "Causes and risk factors" of septic shock).

On septic shock is a life-threatening disease that needs to be treated as quickly as possible. However, people who survive a septic shock often suffer long-term damage, for example, caused by undersupply of particularly sensitive organs.


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