Septic shock due to blood poisoning

Septic shock is the result of blood poisoning that can occur due to an infection, childbirth, abortion or another cause. There are different forms of shock, all of which are equally serious and result in a sudden sharp drop in blood pressure. This causes tissues to receive insufficient oxygen. In severe cases of blood poisoning, where septic shock occurs, this results in death.

Septic shock

Septic shock is a life-threatening situation: the blood pressure suddenly drops very quickly and if left untreated the patient will certainly die. Even with treatment, the risk of dying is still high. A septic shock is therefore seriously serious and should never be underestimated.


Bacterial toxins, the waste products of bacteria, can enter the bloodstream. When this happens en masse, septic shock can occur. Bacteria that enter the bloodstream are often the well-known E.colli, streptococci, proteus, but also other bacteria. There is often an infection of the bladder, ear, an infected wound, pneumonia or throat infection. Bacteria can also enter the body after childbirth or an abortion. This is the reason why antibiotics are often given after an abortion. The bacteria that have entered the body gain access to the bloodstream, where they can multiply. They reach various organs and their toxins cause blood poisoning. Blood poisoning is also called septicemia. Septic shock is always the consequence and not the cause of blood poisoning.
The plague or Black Death was the biggest cause of septic shock between the 14th and 19th centuries. The plague caused the death of a third of Europeans at that time. Almost all of them died as a result of septic shock.
Blood poisoning is not always serious: Many people have mild blood poisoning without noticing anything. There is often a mild fever (an increase) and bacteria are found in the blood during a blood test. People often accidentally encounter mild blood poisoning. In these cases, the body is able to clean up the bacteria itself, or antibiotics are given for certain infections such as a throat, bladder or pneumonia.

Symptoms of blood poisoning

Blood poisoning has a number of symptoms such as fever, chills, sweating, shortness of breath and shortness of breath, headache and confusion. It is not always easy to recognize blood poisoning because sometimes people think of a (severe) flu, which can cause the same symptoms. Later the symptoms may progress to septic shock.

Symptoms of septic shock

The symptoms of septic shock are palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, shortness of breath and shortness of breath, chills, confusion and anxiety. The blood vessels dilate, causing insufficient blood to be pumped to the organs. Blood pressure drops rapidly, causing the heart to work harder. This is clearly noticeable as palpitations. The flow of blood is made more difficult because the blood thickens. Without treatment the patient will certainly die.

Treatment and recovery

Immediate action is necessary. Blood pressure must be raised, this is done by means of blood pressure increasing medications. In addition, fluids can be administered to prevent or remedy dehydration. It is important that the causative agent, the bacteria or other micro-organism, is tackled. Research such as a urine culture, blood test or other research can determine which micro-organism is responsible for the blood poisoning. An antibiotic is used based on this information. This can possibly be introduced via an IV.
Even with immediate treatment, septic shock can lead to death, although this risk is reduced than without treatment. With treatment the chance of death is 50 percent, without treatment it is 100 percent. Without intervention, the patient is doomed. In severe blood poisoning without septic shock, the chance of death is approximately 35 percent. Death can also occur due to acute renal failure due to protein in the urine. The heart muscle can be seriously damaged by a lack of oxygen, sometimes resulting in death. Permanent damage may also be left behind and the patient will remain a heart patient. The kidneys can also be damaged to such an extent that one remains a kidney patient. Some things can be treated, but complete cure is often impossible.
The damage to organs can be temporary if action is taken in time. The damage can then be limited or repaired and the organs will be able to perform their normal functions again. It is therefore important to intervene in time.


A septic shock falls under a shock: a drop in blood pressure resulting in insufficient oxygen supply to tissues and organs to keep them functional. Other forms of shock include:

  • Hypovolemic shock
  • Distributive shock.
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Obstructive shock

All forms of shock are serious and must be treated immediately.

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  • Obstructive shock
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