Anyone can develop sepsis, but children, infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable. People with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, AIDS, cancer and kidney or liver disease are also at increased risk, as are those who have experienced a severe burn or physical trauma.
In the USA sepsis causes more deaths than prostate cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. Australian and New Zealand intensive care units treat at least 18,000 people with severe sepsis and septic shock each year. Of these around 5000 will die from sepsis.
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