Sepsis (Blood Infection) (cont.)
The patient will likely be administered oxygen, either by a tube that is placed near the nose or through a clear plastic mask.
Depending on the results of the tests, the doctor may order medications. These medications may include antibiotics given intravenously (given directly into the vein). Initially, the antibiotics may be those that kill many different bacteria because the exact kind of infection the patient has is not known. Once the blood culture results show the identity of the bacteria, the doctor may select a different antibiotic that kills the specific organism responsible for the infection.
The doctor may also order IV salt solution (saline) and medications to increase the blood pressure if it is too low.
Your health care professional will likely admit the patient to the hospital at least until the blood culture results are known. If the patient is very ill and with low blood pressure, the doctor may admit the patient to the intensive care unit (ICU) and may consult specialist doctors to help in the management of the illness.
If results show an infection in the abdomen, either drainage of the infection by the placement of tubes or surgery may be necessary.
Research to discover new treatments for sepsis has failed over the past 20-30 years. Many medications that were thought to be helpful were proven to have no benefit in clinical trials. However, scientists are working diligently to discover medications that will modify the body's aggressive immune response to microbes, which leads to sepsis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2014
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