Definitions for the Terms Bacteremia, Sepsis, Severe Sepsis, Septic Shock, and Other Related Disorders

A 1992 American College of Chest Physicians/Society of Critical Care Medicine consensus panel defined the following terms which are relevant to the discussion of septic shock:

Infection: Infection is a microbial phenomenon characterized by an inflammatory response to the presence of microorganisms or the invasion of normally sterile host tissue by those organisms.

Bacteremia: Bacteremia refers to the presence of viable bacteria in the blood.

Systemic inflammatory response syndrome: Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is a widespread inflammatory response to a variety of severe clinical insults. This syndrome is clinically recognized by the presence of two or more of the following:

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