Sepsis should be treated in-hospital as a medical emergency; severe sepsis will be treated in an intensive care unit. In other words, sepsis should be treated as quickly and efficiently as possible and as soon as it has been identified.

Antibiotics should be administered immediately after blood and other fluid samples have been obtained. Administration of antibiotics should not be delayed while awaiting the results or performance of tests to diagnose sepsis; a 2006 study showed that the risk of death from sepsis increases by 8% with every hour that passes before treatment begins. Intravenous fluids should also be administered without delay.

Depending on the patient’s status, other types of treatment, such as mechanical ventilation or kidney dialysis, may be necessary. Sometimes, surgery is required to clear a local site of infection.

Many other drugs may be used to treat sepsis or to revive those who have gone into septic shock. Despite years of research, scientists have not yet succeeded in developing a medicine that specifically targets the aggressive immune response that characterizes sepsis.

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