Sepsis is often diagnosed based on simple measurements such as your temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and a simple blood test
Other tests may help determine the type of infection, where it is located and which body functions have been affected. These can include:
- blood and urine cultures (where a sample of blood or urine is tested for infections)
- stool sample tests, if you have diarrhoea
- blood pressure tests
- a wound culture (where a small sample of tissue, skin or fluid is taken from the affected area for testing)
- respiratory secretion testing (where a sample of your saliva, phlegm or mucus is taken for testing)
- imaging studies such as an X-ray, ultrasound scan or computerised tomography (CT) scan
- kidney, liver and heart function tests
- a lumbar puncture (where a sample of fluid is extracted from your spine for testing)
In the case of suspected sepsis, it is important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible so that appropriate treatment can be given. This can help stop the progression of sepsis and reduce the risk of long-term damage to the body, or death.
Read more about treating sepsis.
Last updated: 24 September 2015
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