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Why Sepsis Causes Jaundice

Sepsis is an infection coupled with a systemic inflammatory response and can be dangerous both in the way the infection affects our body and in the way our body responds to the infection. Sepsis can cause a variety of symptoms, including jaundice. Sepsis, amongst other reactions, causes cytokine release during the body’s attempt to fight infection. These cytokines, also the reason for inflammation during sepsis, disrupt our body’s ability to regulate bilirubin. Our bodies therefore cannot process bilirubin normally, leading to a buildup of bilirubin, which turns the skin a yellow color, also known as jaundice. Sepsis may also cause jaundice from direct injury to the liver or from the medications used to treat sepsis.

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