Sepsis is life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. Sepsis and septic shock are major healthcare problems, affecting millions of people around the world each year, and killing as many as one in four (and often more)). Similar to polytrauma, acute myocardial infarction, or stroke, early identification and appropriate management in the initial hours after sepsis develops improves outcomes.
The recommendations in this document are intended to provide guidance for the clinician caring for adult patients with sepsis or septic shock. Recommendations from these guidelines cannot replace the clinician’s decision-making capability when presented with a patient’s unique set of clinical variables. These guidelines are appropriate for the sepsis patient in a hospital setting. These guidelines are intended to be best practice (the committee considers this a goal for clinical practice) and not created to represent standard of care.