Septic shock is a serious, sometimes fatal, condition that occurs when an overwhelming infection leads to low blood pressure and low blood flow. Doctors have tried several treatments for septic shock. From 1960 to 1990, they sometimes gave people with septic shock infusions of high-dose steroids (glucocorticoids) to try to fight inflammation and help increase blood pressure. Some studies suggested that the high doses actually worsened the body's ability to fight infection. Since 1990, doctors sometimes used lower doses of steroids. Whether the lower doses actually benefit patients is not clear.