If you, a relative, or a patient feels "severely sick", "that something is wrong", or "are not yourself", and shows any of the following symptoms, you should suspect sepsis:
or has a suspected or diagnosed infection (like pneumonia, abdominal infection, urinary tract infection, or wound infection),
sepsis is the most common cause.
Sepsis is diagnosed if the following criteria are present:
Infection (documented or suspected) and some of the following;
Hemodynamic (blood circulation) variables
Organ dysfunction variables
Tissue perfusion variables
Please keep in mind: Laboratory signs are unspecific and common. Normal white blood count and lack of fever do not rule out sepsis. Hypothermia and leucopenia (low white blood cell count) are signs of unfavorable prognosis.
Some national and international guidelines recommend procalcitonin to guide antibiotic therapy and to confirm the diagnosis of sepsis.
Or as Carl Flatley, founder of the Sepsis Alliance put it in this mnemonic:
"U C the bugs running home"
U = low urine output
C = chills, confusion, consciousness
T = temperature above 100°F/38°C or below 97°F/36°C
B = blood pressure, high or low
R = respirations, more than 20 breaths per minute
H = heart rate over 90 per minute
The International Sepsis Guidelines were developed between 2004 and 2008; an updated version will be available soon. These guidelines give you, as a healthcare professional, the knowledge you need to act when you suspect sepsis.
Goal 2013 Increase the number of hospitals that support the World Sepsis Declaration and World Sepsis Day from around 1,200 to 2,500. ...read more