Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Summer 2015

Document Type


Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo


Septic Shock, Sepsis Guidelines, Blood Infections

Subject Categories

Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Medical Pathology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection and a leading cause of death in the United States (Cawcutt & Peters, 2014). Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) to invading microorganisms. Sagy, Al-Qaquu, and Kim (2013) define sepsis in three categories. “Sepsis” would be defined as the presence of infection along with other general systemic signs and symptoms. “Severe Sepsis” would be defined as sepsis complicated by at least one organ dysfunction, and “Septic Shock” would be defined as severe sepsis with acute circulatory failure that may be characterized by persistent arterial hypotension unexplained by other causes. Pneumonia is the most common cause, accounting for about half of all cases followed by intraabdominal and urinary tract infections (Angus & Vander Poll, 2013). According to new sepsis guidelines, early diagnosis and treatment are keys to improve survival (Pizzolato, Ulla, Galluzzo, Lucchiari, Manetta, Lupia, Mengozzi, and Battista, 2014). Pathophysiology of sepsis which involves three mechanisms of SIRS: 1) the pro-inflammatory response, 2) failure of the compensatory anti-inflammatory response, and 3) immunoparalysis. As well as the three phases of SIRS: 1) release of bacterial toxins, 2) release of mediators, and 3) effects of excessive specific mediators (Sagy et al. 2013).



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