Sonntag, 6. Oktober 2013

Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock

Sepsis is one of the oldest and most elusive syndromes in medicine. Hippocrates claimed that sepsis (σήψις) was the process by which flesh rots, swamps generate foul airs, and wounds fester.1Galen later considered sepsis a laudable event, necessary for wound healing.2 With the confirmation of germ theory by Semmelweis, Pasteur, and others, sepsis was recast as a systemic infection, often described as “blood poisoning,” and assumed to be the result of the host's invasion by pathogenic organisms that then spread in the bloodstream. However, with the advent of modern antibiotics, germ theory did not fully explain the pathogenesis of sepsis: many patients with sepsis died despite successful eradication of the inciting pathogen. Thus, researchers suggested that it was the host, not the germ, that drove the pathogenesis of sepsis.3 Mehr

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