Treatment and recovery

Treatment for sepsis

Sepsis needs treatment in hospital straight away because it can get worse quickly.

You should get antibiotics within 1 hour of arriving at hospital.

If sepsis is not treated early, it can turn into septic shock and cause your organs to fail. This is life threatening.

You may need other tests or treatments depending on your symptoms, including:

You may need to stay in hospital for several weeks.

Recovering from sepsis

Most people make a full recovery from sepsis. But it can take time.

You might continue to have physical and emotional symptoms. These can last for months, or even years, after you had sepsis.

These long-term effects are sometimes called post-sepsis syndrome, and can include:

Treatment for post-sepsis syndrome

Most symptoms of post-sepsis syndrome should get better on their own. But it can take time.

There are things you can do to help with some long-term effects.


  • ask your work about changes to your working hours or conditions while you're recovering

  • do some gentle, easy exercises to build your strength

  • get regular sleep

  • try to prevent infections – for example, by washing your hands regularly

  • try to eat little and often if you have a small appetite


  • do not try to rush your recovery – give yourself time

Non-urgent advice: See a GP about:

  • treatment for physical side effects
  • treatment and support for emotional symptoms

Page last reviewed: 5 September 2022
Next review due: 5 September 2025