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Multiple System Organ Failure

Multiple system organ failure (MSOF) denotes the failure of two or more principal body organ systems such as the heart, lungs, liver or kidneys. The development of MSOF is usually a catastrophic event in the course of a patient's hospitalization; the prognosis for recovery rapidly falls with the failure of three or more organ systems.

In many patients, MSOF is a direct consequence of a process termed "systemic inflammatory response syndrome" or SIRS. In SIRS, the severe underlying illness, whether sepsis, trauma or some other insult, triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals into the blood stream (termed cytokines) that causes a diffuse "leakiness" of the small blood vessels and capillaries. Treatment of MSOF is both supportive and addressed against the underlying medical condition.

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