Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS


Sepsis refers to a bacterial infection in the bloodstream or body tissues. Sepsis can originate anywhere bacteria can gain entry to the body. Catheters, intravenous (IV) or arterial lines, surgical wounds, or surgical drains increase the risk of getting sepsis if left in place for a long period of time. IV drug users are at high risk as well. The presence of sepsis is indicated by blood tests showing particularly high or low white blood cell counts. Identifying the specific cause ultimately determines how sepsis is treated. However, time is important, so a broad-spectrum antibiotic or multiple antibiotics will be administered until blood cultures reveal the culprit and treatment can be made specific to the organism.