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How Sepsis Is Diagnosed?

Sepsis can be difficult to diagnose, but frequently needs rapid treatment to contain the infection and prevent progression into septic shock. Officially, an individual must present with at least two of the following four symptoms: increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, elevated (or significantly decreased) temperature, and an elevated (or significantly decreased) white blood cell count, coupled with an existing infection somewhere in the body. Further blood tests may further categorize the sepsis with either severe sepsis (more significant than simple sepsis) or septic shock (the most severe form of sepsis). Treatment of antibiotics and IV fluids may begin before results of workup to prevent worsening of sepsis during definitive diagnosis occurs.

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