Many patients affected by severe COVID-19 die from sepsis and its complications

12 September 2020

While the number of global coronavirus infections has exceeded 28 million and the death toll is approaching 1 million, scientific data shows that COVID-19 does cause sepsis. Many patients affected by severe COVID-19 dies from sepsis and its complications. Sepsis accounts for at least 11 million deaths worldwide annually, but only a small part of the population knows what it is.

World Sepsis Day is held on September 13th every year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against sepsis.

Sepsis, formerly referred to as ‘blood poisoning’, arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It may lead to shock, multi-organ failure, and death – especially if not recognized early and treated promptly.

Now when more scientific data are available on COVID-19, it shows that COVID-19 does indeed cause sepsis. The effects on the respiratory system are well-known, with most people requiring hospital admission developing pneumonia of varying severity; however, all other organ systems can also be affected. Signs of multi-organ injury typical of sepsis occur in approximately 2-5 % of those with COVID-19 after approximately 8-10 days.1

Many patients affected by severe COVID-19 will die from sepsis and its complications. It is therefore vital to know and recognize early signs of sepsis, and initiate prompt treatment when diagnosed. Timely intervention saves life and organ function.

Another common cause of sepsis is healthcare associated infections (VRI). An estimated 50 % of all cases of sepsis can attributed to HAI.2 Consequently, preventing HAI is imperative in terms of reducing the occurrence of sepsis.

Bactiguard save lives by developing and supplying infection prevention solutions which reduce the risk of healthcare associated infections that may develop into sepsis.

For more information about World Sepsis Day
Read more about how Bactiguard saves lives on

Facts about Sepsis:

  • Is always caused by an infection like pneumonia or urinary tract infection3
  • COVID-19 itself may cause sepsis
  • 47 – 50 million cases per year3
  • At least 11 million deaths per year3
  • 1 in 5 deaths worldwide is associated with sepsis3
  • Up to 50% of sepsis survivors suffer from long-term physical and/or psychological effects4


2. Eber MR et al. Arch Intern Med. 2010 Feb 22;170(4):347-53.PMID:20177037 
3. Rudd et al,  
4. Prescott et al,