Immediate assessment of oxygenation and ventilation status is the first priority in the management. Oxygen by mask and consideration of endotracheal intubation should be done immediately if the patient's airway is not secure or if respirations are inadequate. In addition, patients with hypotension not responding acutely to rapid fluid resuscitation should be intubated to avoid respiratory arrest from fatigue of the respiratory muscles due to inadequate perfusion of these muscles. There is no consensus as to acceptable levels of oxygen saturation or tensions; however, most experts recommend maintaining oxygen saturations above 90 percent in a septic patient.
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