SepsisWho can get it

Who's more likely to get sepsis

Anyone with an infection can get sepsis.

Some people are more likely to get an infection that could lead to sepsis, including:

  • babies under 1, particularly if they're born early (premature) or their mother had an infection while pregnant
  • people over 75
  • people with diabetes
  • people with a weakened immune system, such as those having chemotherapy treatment or who recently had an organ transplant
  • people who have recently had surgery or a serious illness
  • women who have just given birth, had a miscarriage or had an abortion

You cannot catch sepsis from another person. It happens when your body overreacts to an infection.

How to help prevent infections

It's not always possible to prevent sepsis.

There are things you can do to help prevent infections that can lead to sepsis.

Do

  • keep up to date with vaccines, particularly for babies, children, older people and pregnant women
  • clean and care for any wounds
  • follow the instructions when taking antibiotics
  • take all your prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel better
  • wash your hands regularly and teach children how to wash their hands well

Don't

  • do not ignore symptoms of sepsis

Page last reviewed: 18/07/2019
Next review due: 18/07/2022