The sepsis syndrome. Definition and general approach to management

Clin Chest Med. 1996 Jun;17(2):175-81. doi: 10.1016/s0272-5231(05)70307-5.


Sepsis is the systemic response to severe infection in critically ill patients. Sepsis, sepsis syndrome, and septic shock represent the increasingly severe stages of the same disease. Severe sepsis and septic shock occur in persons with preexisting illness or trauma. If sepsis is not diagnosed and treated early, it can become self-perpetuating, and elderly persons, in particular, are at a greater risk of death from sepsis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome* / physiopathology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Inflammation Mediators