Sepsis and septicemiaIntroduction

Lower rates of sepsis are seen in areas that have more solar ultraviolet-B radiation and in summer when solar ultraviolet-B radiation is stronger. 

Sepsis, characterized by systemic inflammatory state and the presence of an infection, is a vitamin D-sensitive disease. 

Evidence comes from a review of the epidemiological findings regarding sepsis in the United States and an understanding of the mechanism whereby vitamin D strengthens the immune system. 

Based on what is known, it seems that keeping serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels above 40-60 ng/mL would reduce risk by 25-50% and increase survival after diagnosis.

Sepsis is a serious medical condition that is characterized by a systemic (whole-body) inflammatory state and the presence of a known or suspected infection. 

Septicemia is a related medical term referring to systemic illness with toxicity due to invasion of the bloodstream by virulent bacteria, leading to sepsis. 

The body’s reaction can lead to widespread infection and clotting.  Severe sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction1 2 3 4

Sepsis most often occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream through an opening in the skin, such as after an operation5 6

Sepsis may be associated with clinical symptoms of systemic (bodywide) illness, such as fever, chills, malaise (generally feeling "rotten"), low blood pressure, and mental status changes.

Sepsis can be a serious situation, a life threatening disease calling for urgent and comprehensive care.

Page last edited: 03 May 2011


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