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Sepsis is defined by the presence of at least two systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria associated with an infection microbiologically or clinically evidenced. In Italy sepsis is responsible for 80,000 hospital admissions per year and, in the last decades, severe sepsis and septic shock cases are increasing, in correlation with the increased prevalence of multi-drugresistant microbial strains. The predominant etiologic agents are Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, but sepsis caused by fungi is increasing. The host response with both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes is responsible for organic failures, which complicate the syndrome, and for the susceptibility to secondary infections. The impairment of one or more organs or systems may be the onset clinical presentation. The organ dysfunctions complicating sepsis involve mainly cardiorespiratory system, kidneys, hemostatis and central nervous system. Fever or hypothermia, tachycardia, tachypnea, leukocytosis or leukopenia, elevated blood levels of lactate and procalcitonin, hypotension are diagnostically sensitive findings for sepsis. Definitive diagnosis requires isolation of the pathogen from blood sample or from the focus of infection. Therapeutic success against sepsis depends on the appropriate use of antibiotics, on the treatment of hemodynamic and respiratory disorder and on general supportive care. In some cases the use of activated protein C is to take in consideration.
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