Septic shock is a form of shock associated with overwhelming infection, usually by gram-negative bacteria, although it may be caused by other bacteria, viruses or fungi. It is marked by hypotension, oliguria, tachycardia and confusion.
The signs and symptoms of shock include
The treatment of septic shock consists of the following:
Mortality rate due to septic shock is very high due to delay in management and treatment of septic shock. Almost 50% of the patients of septic shock die. The mortality rate is about 40% in adults and approximately 25% in children. With immediate medical care, about 95% of the patients can recover but most die due to difficulty in recognizing the symptoms of shock and establishing a diagnosis.
The causes of septic shock include the following  :
The risk factors for the development of sepsis include:
More than 20 million cases of septic shock are registered per year. Elderly, children and immunocompromised patients are more susceptible due to weak immune systems as compared to healthy adults who are better equipped to fight systemic infections.
Hemodynamic changes are the basic mechanism involved in pathogenesis of the disease. The endotoxins and microbial products activate multiple pathways that include the following  :
The disease occurs in 3 stages:
Septic shock is a condition in which body-wide infection occurs leading to involvement and failure of more than one organ. Marked hypotension can even lead to death if prompt treatment is not given. Sepsis or septic shock is most common in patients who are immunocompromised, have bacterial or viral infections or in children and elderly due to weakened immune mechanisms.
Early signs and symptoms of the disease include lowering of blood pressure, increased respiratory and heart rate, confusion and agitation. Fever is a common symptom. The patient also feels difficulty in breathing and abdominal pain.
Diagnosis of this condition is difficult. Such patients should be immediately treated and hospitalized. Blood pressure, breathing and heart rate should be stabilized. With care, patient can recover but delay in the treatment can lead to death of the patient.