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Multiple System Organ Failure

Critical Care

Multiple System Organ Failure is when more than one organ of the body stops working normally. Since each organ of the body has its own important purpose to keep us well, the more organs that don't work properly, the less likely it is that a patient will get better from a critical illness. Organs can stop working, or "fail," for a number of different reasons. Some common reasons that cause more than one organ at a time to fail are serious infections, low blood pressure (called "shock") and serious injuries (called "trauma"). In general, the chance of a patient dying in the hospital increases each day that organs don't improve functioning. So, for example, patients with 3 failed organs for more than 3 days are very unlikely to survive.