Caring for Patients with Sepsis

Key points

  • Sepsis is a medical emergency. You play a critical role. Protect your patients by acting fast.
  • You should immediately evaluate and treat patients who might have sepsis.
  • With your fast recognition and treatment, most patients survive.

Diagnosis and treatment

Sepsis is diagnosed through a medical assessment by a healthcare provider.

Keep Reading: Diagnosing sepsis

Educate your patients and their families about

  • Preventing infections
  • Keeping cuts and wounds clean and covered until healed
  • Managing chronic conditions
  • Recognizing early signs and symptoms of worsening infection and sepsis, and seeking immediate care if signs and symptoms are present

If you suspect sepsis

  • Know your facility's guidance for diagnosing and managing sepsis.
  • Immediately alert the healthcare provider overseeing care of the patient if it is not you.
  • Start antibiotics as soon as possible in addition to other therapies appropriate for the patient. If a specific bacterial cause of sepsis is known, therapy should be targeted to optimize treatment, and broad-spectrum antibiotics might not be needed.
  • Check patient progress frequently. Treatment requires urgent medical care, usually in an intensive care unit in a hospital, and includes careful monitoring of vital signs. Reassess patients with sepsis early and frequently to determine the appropriate duration and type of therapy.


Guidelines and tools



Education and training

All HCPs

EMS Personnel and Disaster Responders

Keep Reading: Get Ahead of Sepsis


All HCPs

EMS Personnel and Disaster Responders

Public health and policy