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Septic shock is a serious medical condition caused by decreased tissue perfusion and oxygen delivery as a result of infection and sepsis. It can cause multiple organ failure and death. Its most common victims are children, immunocompromised individuals, and the elderly, as their immune systems cannot cope with the infection as well as healthy adults are able. The mortality rate from septic shock is approximately 50%.
Additional recommended knowledge
Definition of septic shock
To diagnose septic shock the following two criteria must be met:
In addition to the two criteria above, two or more of the following must be present:
A subclass of distributive shock, shock refers specifically to decreased tissue perfusion resulting in end-organ dysfunction. Cytokines TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6 released in a large scale inflammatory response results in massive vasodilation, increased capillary permeability, decreased systemic vascular resistance, and hypotension. Hypotension reduces tissue perfusion pressure and thus tissue hypoxia ensues. Finally, in an attempt to offset decreased blood pressure, ventricular dilatation and myocardial dysfunction will occur.
The process of infection by bacteria or fungi can result in systemic signs and symptoms that are variously described. In rough order of severity, these are bacteremia or fungemia; septicemia; sepsis, severe sepsis or sepsis syndrome; septic shock; refractory septic shock; multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, and death.
The condition develops as a response to certain microbial molecules which trigger the production and release of cellular mediators, such as tumor necrosis factors (TNF); these act to stimulate immune response. Besides TNFα, other cytokines involved in the development of septic shock include interleukin-1β, and interferon γ.
Treatment primarily consists of 1) Volume resuscitation 2) Early antibiotic administration 3) Rapid source identification and control and 4) Support of major organ dysfunction.
Antimediator agents may be of some limited use in severe clinical situations:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Septic_shock". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|