Although any microorganism may cause septic shock, it is most often associated with gramnegative bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas, and Serratia. Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus can also cause septic shock and, in past years, have led to outbreaks of toxic shock syndrome. A fungal infection causes septic shock in less than 3% of the cases. Lower respiratory infections cause 25% of the cases of septic shock, urinary tract infections cause 25%, and soft tissue infections cause 15% of the cases.

Common factors or conditions that are associated with septic shock include diabetes melli-tus, malnutrition, alcohol abuse, cirrhosis, respiratory infections, hemorrhage, cancer, and surgery. People with traumatic injuries with either peritoneal contamination, burns, prolonged intravenous (IV) cannulation, abscesses, or multiple blood transfusions are at particular risk as well.

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