"improving intensive care in Scotland"

Sepsis

Conclusions

Key points

  • Sepsis kills more people in the developed world per year than heart disease or stroke and its incidence is increasing
  • Systemic inflammatory response syndrome develops from systemic spillover of what often starts as a localised inflammatory and coagulation response
  • Aetiology may be infectious or non infectious
  • Clinical features of sepsis are varied and often relate to the precipitating infective or non-infective cause
  • Prompt fluid resuscitation and early administration of appropriate antibiotics with source control if indicated form the cornerstone of the initial management of sepsis. There is evidence that delayed or inadequate early management adversely affects outcome.
  • Patients with severe sepsis should be managed in an ICU or HDU setting. Although there are some adjuvant therapies available for the management of patients with severe sepsis, good basic medical care is of paramount importance, as is close attention to infection control and prevention of hospital acquired infection.

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