Sepsis is a severe infection affecting the whole body. It can cause serious illness and even death. It is vital to get early treatment if you think you, or a loved one, might have sepsis.

Sepsis happens when the local infection spreads throughout the body. The body temperature rises to try and stop the germs multiplying and the body makes more white blood cells to find and kill the germs. This is called the ‘inflammatory response’

Signs of sepsis

  • Slurred speech or confusion.
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain.
  • Passing no urine (in a day).
  • Severe breathlessness or sleepiness.
  • It feels like you're going to die or pass out.
  • Skin mottled or discoloured.
  •  An extremely high or a very low temperature
  • repeated vomiting
  • seizures
  • a rash which doesn't fade when you press a glass against it.

ALWAYS seek URGENT medical help, this is an emergency.

More information


HSE leaflet on sepsis