What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is the body responding to an infection. If not identified and treated early, it can lead to a medical emergency.

Grand Strand Medical Center is a certified Sepsis Center by The Joint Commission. This designation means that we have implemented protocols to improve the care for our patients with sepsis.

Who is at Risk fo Sepsis?

Ages less than 1 year to greater than 65 years

Individuals with:

  • Chronic Illness: Diabetes, Kidney and Liver Failure, Heart Disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Invasive Devices: PICC Lines, Central Lines, Foley Catheters, Implanted Tubes or Ports
  • Surgical, traumatic or chronic wounds

Individuals who have had:

  • Sepsis before
  • Surgical and invasive diagnostic procedures
  • Chemotherapy or radiation treatments
There are Three Stages of Sepsis:
Stage 1


  • Temperature greater than 100.4 F or less than 96.8 F
  • Respiratory rate greater than 20 per minute
  • Heart greater than 90 beats per minute
  • An infection such as pneumonia, urinary tract infection, wounds, infected lines/ports
Stage 2


  • Signs of organ damage such as decreased urination, altered mental status
Stage 3


  • Severe SEPSIS
  • Steady decreasing blood pressure

How do I recognize when my loved one needs assistance?

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Fever, shaking, chills
  • Confusion or difficulty waking your family member up
  • Nonstop nausea and vomiting
  • Nonstop diarrhea
  • Fast heart rate
  • Fast breathing
  • Not making as much urine

Ways to decrease your change of getting sepsis:

  • Washing hands with soap and warm water
  • Keep blood sugar under control
  • Take medications the way your doctor has prescribed to you
  • Stay on track with your doctor appointments

During Your Stay

You will be seen and treated by different team members who are involved in your care at our hospital. Some of our team consists of:

  • Case Manager
  • Clinical Program Coordinator
  • Doctor
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Rapid Response Nurse
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Phlebotomist (Lab)

You may notice your loved one has this image (bug) on their door. This means they are being treated for sepsis. Please ask their nurse about the visiting policy.