Clinical Practice Guidelines: Sepsis



Sepsis is an overwhelming bacterial infection in the body that is comprised of a suspected or proven infection, in addition to at least two additional symptoms of fever or hypothermia, leukopenia or leukocytosis, tachycardia, and/or tachypnea.  Sepsis can then progress to septic shock, manifesting as ARDS, cardiovascular organ damage, or injury to 2 additional organ systems. 

Sepsis is a leading cause of pediatric morbidity with mortality rates between 8-14%. 20,000-40,000 children a year develop septic shock, and those with chronic illnesses are more likely to have adverse outcomes.  Despite evidence-based guidelines, only a small percentage of children receive the standard of care resulting in suboptimal outcomes. Evidence from other Sepsis Groups have shown that early recognition of sepsis is best, and that early reversal of symptoms can lead to better outcomes in children than in adults.

The goal of the sepsis guideline is to improve early recognition and treatment of sepsis, leading to reduced sepsis-related mortality. This CPG was developed based on nationally recognized standards of care, and has been modified to meet the needs of our Pediatric Emergency Department.

Sepsis guidelines team

  • Contacts: Shelley Murphy, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Barbara Solomon, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
  • Brian Bridges, Critical Care
  • Corrie Berry, Emergency Department
  • Chelsea Carter, Emergency Department
  • Kathryn Edwards, Infectious Diseases
  • Caroline Epps, Performance Management and Improvement
  • Heather Freeman, Health IT
  • Adam Hall, Health IT
  • David Johnson, Hospital Medicine
  • Julie Sinclair-Pingel, Pharmacy