Who can get it
Who's more likely to get sepsis
Anyone with an infection can get sepsis.
Some people are more likely to get an infection that could lead to sepsis, including:
- babies under 1, particularly if they're born early (premature) or their mother had an infection while pregnant
- people over 75
- people with diabetes
- people with a weakened immune system, such as those having chemotherapy treatment or who recently had an organ transplant
- people who have recently had surgery or a serious illness
- women who have just given birth, had a miscarriage or had an abortion
You cannot catch sepsis from another person. It happens when your body overreacts to an infection.
How to help prevent infections
It's not always possible to prevent sepsis.
There are things you can do to help prevent infections that can lead to sepsis.
keep up to date with vaccines, particularly for babies, children, older people and pregnant women
take antibiotics correctly – follow the instructions and take all your prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel better
wash your hands regularly and teach children how to wash their hands well
do not ignore symptoms of sepsis
Page last reviewed: 5 September 2022
Next review due: 5 September 2025