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Sepsis in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a condition that develops when your child's immune system reacts too strongly to an infection. The immune system normally fights germs causing an infection. Sepsis develops when the immune system stops attacking germs and starts attacking healthy cells throughout your child's body. This causes a low blood pressure (BP) and inflammation. Sepsis is considered severe if the inflammation affects how one or more of your child's organs work. Sepsis must be treated immediately to prevent septic shock. Septic shock is life-threatening low BP that leads to organ failure.

What increases my child's risk for sepsis?

What are the signs and symptoms of sepsis?

Seek care immediately for any of the following:

How is sepsis diagnosed?

How is sepsis treated?

Several treatments may be needed if sepsis causes one or more organs to stop working correctly. Treatments are often started in the emergency room and continued in an intensive care or critical care unit of a hospital. Your child may need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to prevent sepsis in my child?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.