How Can I Get Ahead of Sepsis?

You can take specific steps to reduce your risk of sepsis, including sepsis caused by COVID-19, such as:

1 Prevent infections

Talk to your healthcare professional about steps you can take to prevent infections that can lead to sepsis, including:

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Take good care of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease.

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Get recommended vaccines, since vaccinations prevent some infections, but do not cure sepsis.

2 Practice good hygiene


Wash your hands.


Keep cuts clean and covered until healed.

3 Know the signs and symptoms of sepsis

A patient with sepsis might have one or more of the following signs or symptoms:

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High heart rate or weak pulse

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Fever, shivering, or feeling very cold

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Confusion or disorientation

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Shortness of breath

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Extreme pain or discomfort

CDC Sepsis Sweat Droplets

Clammy or sweaty skin

People who might have sepsis should be urgently evaluated and treated by a healthcare professional.


Sepsis is a medical emergency. If you or your loved one has an infection that’s not getting better or is getting worse, ACT FAST. Get medical care IMMEDIATELY. Ask your healthcare professional, “Could this infection be leading to sepsis?” and if you should go to the emergency room.

Fact Sheet

Infographic: 4 Ways to Get Ahead of Sepsis


Four Ways to Get Ahead of Sepsis (Print Only) [PDF – 1 page]

Discover the four ways you can get ahead of sepsis.