Sepsis vs Septic Shock: Difference and Comparison

The terms ‘Sepsis’ and ‘Septic Shock’ are related to harmful and dangerous organ dysfunction in the human body.

Even though both terms are related to the organ failure issue, but there are many differences between them which will be discussed below.

Sepsis and Septic Shock differ in many aspects, such as their definitions, symptoms, causes, complications, treatment, etc.

Key Takeaways

  1. Sepsis is a serious medical condition when the body’s response to infection causes inflammation. At the same time, septic shock is a life-threatening complication of sepsis that can lead to multiple organ failure.
  2. Sepsis can cause symptoms such as fever, chills, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath, while septic shock can cause a drop in blood pressure, confusion, and unconsciousness.
  3. Sepsis can be treated with antibiotics and other supportive measures, while septic shock requires immediate medical attention, including hospitalization and intensive care.

Sepsis vs Septic Shock

Sepsis is when the body has an overwhelming and potentially life-threatening response to an infection. It can be caused by a wide range of infections, including bacterial, viral, or fungal. Septic shock is a worse form of sepsis where the body’s response to the infection leads to low blood pressure.

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Sepsis vs Septic Shock

Sepsis refers to the dysfunction of the organs that are caused due to a chemical imbalance in the human body because of an infection.

Sepsis can be a life-threatening issue, which is very severe, and important to be cured on time if possible.

Generally, its symptoms include several issues such as high fever, a rise in the heart rate, a sudden increase in breathing rate, etc. The main element that triggers Sepsis is infection.

On the other hand, Septic Shock refers to the sudden fall of blood pressure to a very lower level and further causes organ failure.

Septic Shock is also a life-threatening issue. Septic Shock is also termed as a variant of Sepsis. Septic Shock directly damages various organs of the body.

It triggers the normal blood pressure level of a human, further causing organ damage.

Generally, its symptoms include things such as a dramatic fall in blood pressure, pale skin color, a gradual decrease in urination, nausea, etc.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSepsisSeptic Shock
Definition The cause of organ damage in response to a severe infection in the human body is commonly known as Sepsis. The cause of organ failure caused due to a fall, or low blood pressure, commonly known as Septic Shock.
Symptoms Sepsis includes various symptoms such as high fever, rise in heart rate, a sudden increase in breathing rate, etc.Septic Shock includes various symptoms such as a drastic fall in blood pressure, pale skin color, a gradual decrease in urination, nausea, etc.
Danger LevelSepsis is comparatively less dangerous or severe than Septic Shock. Septic Shock is the final stage of Sepsis, and hence it is comparatively dangerous.
Main Factor that Triggers the Issue The main factor that triggers Sepsis is its infection which is generally caused by bacteria.The main factor that triggers Septic Shock is the drastic fall in the normal blood pressure rate.
Diagnosis Systems/ TestSepsis is generally diagnosed by performing some blood tests, a systemic swelled response, etc.Septic Shock is generally diagnosed by checking whether or not the systolic blood pressure is lower than 90mmHg.
CauseThe major cause of Sepsis is infection. The major cause of Septic Shock is the last and most severe stage of Sepsis.
The Risk FactorsGenerally, an adult who is of age 65 or more, has a low immune system, infant, or pregnant patient can easily come in contact with Sepsis.Generally, a person with a low immune system, diabetes, and cirrhosis of the liver can easily come in contact with Septic Shock.
Treatment Sepsis requires various kinds of treatments to cure, and this includes treatments such as antibiotics, Vasopressors, medications that can raise blood pressure, etc.Septic Shock requires various kinds of treatments to cure, and this includes treatments such as oxygen supplier machines, Dialysis, antibiotics, medications for BP, etc.
Deadly Sepsis sometimes or rarely leads to a patient’s death, therefore, it has comparatively fewer risk factors for death. Septic Shock patients have more chances of death as it damages the overall organs of the body.
Complications Sepsis can damage and lead to many severe complications that can ruin a person’s life, and these complications include kidney failure, degradation of the respiratory system, heart blockage or failure, brain cell damage, etc.Septic Shock can also lead to more severe and permanent loss of a person, which includes kidney failure, blood clogging, heart attack, and in some cases, it can even lead to death.
Prevention One can prevent sepsis by following precautions, and they are getting vaccinated for various harmful diseases such as flu, pneumonia, and various other related infections, also one takes care of their wounds, etc.One can prevent septic shock by the following precautions and they are one should always give importance to their hygiene, get proper vaccinations for various infections that may lead to sepsis, should always take care of their sugar level if they are diabetic, avoid smoking and drinking, etc.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a dangerous and life-threatening organ dysfunction that is caused by a severe infection and spreads all over the body via the bloodstream and further damages various organs of the human body.

It mostly attacks the organs such as the kidney, heart, brain, lungs, etc. In the initial stage of Sepsis, one has an infection, and when this infection is harmful, it can lead to these kinds of problems.

Even though Sepsis is life-threatening but, it has more severe stages than itself, which can lead to death.

Sepsis sometimes or rarely leads to a patient’s death. Therefore, it has comparatively fewer risk factors of death as compared to the other order dysfunction stages.

Sepsis includes various symptoms such as high fever, a rise in heart rate, a sudden increase in breathing rate, etc.

If one finds any the mentioned discomfort with themself, he/she should immediately seek professional help from a doctor, and the doctor further suggests various kinds of tests to determine the problem and continue with its proper care.

Sepsis is generally diagnosed by performing some blood tests, a systemic swelled response, etc.

Sepsis attacks or can be commonly seen only with a specific age group or with specific people that, include an adult who is of age 65 or more, a person with a low immune system, an infant, pregnant woman, and therefore it can easily come in contact with these people.

Sepsis can damage and lead to many severe complications that can ruin a person’s life and these complications include kidney failure, degradation of the respiratory system, heart blockage or failure, brain cell damage, etc.

What is Septic Shock?

Septic Shock is severe and the last stage of Sepsis that causes organ failure due to the sudden fall of normal blood pressure.

In most cases, it has severely damaged the organs and mostly leads to death. Septic Shock does not include one symptom but other symptoms, including pale skin color, a gradual decrease in urination, nausea, etc.

But, the major drawback is low blood pressure.

Since we know the initial stage starts with an infection, and hence this infection spreads in the body and furthers the blood stops to produce new blood cells, leading to blood clogging or the organs do not get enough blood.

Therefore, the organs end up being damaged because of the irregular cycle.

Septic Shock is generally diagnosed by checking whether or not the systolic blood pressure is lower than 90mmHg. A specialist generally suggests that.

One more reason that leads to Septic Shock is that a survivor of Sepsis and other related organ dysfunction miss out on the diagnosis in the initial stage, and further, this becomes more severe or sometimes non-curable, which leads to the patient’s death.

Generally, a person with Sepsis, a low immune system, diabetes, and cirrhosis of the liver can easily come in contact with Septic Shock.

Also, one can prevent septic shock by the following precautions, and they are one should always give importance to their hygiene, get proper vaccinations for various infections that may lead to sepsis, should always take care of their sugar level if they are diabetic, avoid smoking, and drinking, etc.

Main Differences Between Sepsis and Septic Shock

  1. The cause of organ damage in response to a severe infection in the human body is commonly known as Sepsis. On the other hand, The cause of organ failure caused due to a fall or low blood pressure is commonly known as Septic Shock.
  2. Sepsis includes various symptoms such as high fever, a rise in heart rate, a sudden increase in breathing rate, etc. On the other hand, Septic Shock includes various symptoms such as a drastic fall in blood pressure, pale skin color, a gradual decrease in urination, nausea, etc.
  3. Sepsis is comparatively less dangerous or severe than Septic Shock. On the other hand, Septic Shock is the final stage of Sepsis, and hence it is comparatively dangerous.
  4. The main factor that triggers Sepsis is its infection which is generally caused by bacteria. On the other hand, The main factor that triggers Septic Shock is the drastic fall in the normal blood pressure rate.
  5. Sepsis is generally diagnosed by performing some blood tests, a systemic swelled response, etc. On the other hand, Septic Shock is generally diagnosed by checking whether the systolic blood pressure is lower than 90mmHg or not.
  6. The major cause of Sepsis is infection. On the other hand, The major cause of Septic Shock is the last and most severe stage of Sepsis.
  7. Generally, an adult who is age 65 or more has a low immune system, an infant or pregnant patient can easily come in contact with Sepsis. On the other hand, Generally, a person with a low immune system, diabetes, and cirrhosis of the liver can easily come in contact with Septic Shock.
  8. Sepsis requires various kinds of treatments to cure, and this includes treatments such as antibiotics, Vasopressors, medications that can raise blood pressure, etc. On the other hand, Septic Shock requires various kinds of treatments to cure, and this includes treatments such as oxygen supplier machines, Dialysis, antibiotics, medications for BP, etc.
  9. Sepsis is sometimes or rarely leads to a patient’s death, therefore, it has comparatively fewer risk factors of death. On the other hand, Septic Shock patients have more chances of death as it damages the overall organs of the body.
  10. Sepsis can damage and lead to many severe complications that can ruin a person’s life, including kidney failure, respiratory system degradation, heart blockage or failure, brain cell damage, etc. On the other hand, Septic Shock can also lead to more severe and permanent loss of a person, which includes kidney failure, blood clogging, heart attack, and in some cases, it can even lead to death.
  11. One can prevent sepsis by following precautions, and they are getting vaccinated for various harmful diseases such as flu, pneumonia, and various other related infections, also, one takes care of their wounds, etc. On the other hand, One can prevent septic shock by the following precautions, and they are one should always give importance to their hygiene, get proper vaccinations for various infections that may lead to sepsis, one should always take care of their sugar level if they are diabetic, avoid smoking, and drinking, etc.
Difference Between Sepsis and Septic Shock
References
  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2492881
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1208623
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