Definition

What is Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

SIRS is the clinical signs of the body’s immune system activating. In other words, it is a common inflammatory respond.

SIRS is sometimes confused with sepsis, but there is one key difference between the two: the presence of infection. That is, SIRS can occur following trauma, inflammation, ischemia, or infection, whereas sepsis only occurs in the presence of an infection. SIRS does not always occur following these insults to the body, but is rather a potential complication of them. In the presence of infection, SIRS can evolve into sepsis if not treated quickly and appropriately.

How common is Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

The common symptoms of Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) are:

  • Temperature above 100.4 or below 96.8
  • Heart rate above 90 beats per minute
  • Breathing rate more than 20 breaths per minute or arterial carbon dioxide less than 32 mmHg
  • White blood cell count above 12,000 or below 4,000

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you or your loved one has any signs or symptoms listed above or you have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

SIRS could be caused by infection. However, infection is not the only cause of these symptoms. Some of the most common causes of SIRS are burn, trauma, cardiovascular disease, cardiac arrest lung disease and the body’s perioperative respond, especially in cardiovascular surgeries.

Common potential causes of SIRS:

Infectious:

  • Pneumonia
  • Wound infection
  • Endocarditis
  • Cellulitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Gangrene
  • Meningitis
  • Cholecystitis (gallbladder infection)

Non-infectious:

  • Burns
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cirrhosis
  • Dehydration
  • Electrical injuries
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Heart attack
  • Surgery
  • Transfusion reaction

Risk factors

What increases my risk for Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

Please consult with your doctor for further information.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) diagnosed?

Diagnosis of SIRS is based on presence of the above symptoms along with some type of insult to the body. When SIRS is suspected, various labs, such as blood cultures, lactic acid, and complete blood counts, may be drawn.

Labs drawn for suspected SIRS:

  • Complete blood count
  • Blood cultures
  • Urine cultures
  • Sputum cultures
  • Wound cultures (if wound presents)
  • Liver function panels
  • Cardiac enzymes
  • Lactic acid
  • Blood gases
  • Cerebral spinal fluid analysis

How is Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) treated?

Upon confirmation of this condition, treatment is aimed at alleviating the cause.

For instance, if SIRS occurs due to ischemia, or obstruction of blood flow to an area of the body, treatment is aimed at restoring blood flow to the affected area along with supportive therapy to treat symptoms. If SIRS occurs following a heart attack, treatment is aimed at preserving heart functioning and managing whatever symptoms are caused by SIRS. SIRS is sometimes even thought of as a defense mechanism for the body because it is basically a complex process in which the body attempts to ‘fight’ the effects of the insult or injury.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: March 23, 2018 | Last Modified: March 23, 2018

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