Sunday, 14 August 2016


So Sepsis confuses me. There's loads of guidelines we're supposed to follow (some with out of date evidence) and it's not as simple as it could be. I've tried to simplify it... but might easily have misinterpreted something!

Sepsis = life threatening organ dysfunction due to dysregulated host response to infection. “SOFA” helps define and “prove” organ dysfunction. 

CEM and Surviving Sepsis Criteria define with SIRS
Need at least two of:
Temp > 38.3   Temp <36
WCC >12 or WCC <4
HR >90 RR >20
AMS BM >7.7

Patients with at least two SIRS criteria and suspected infective source should have the sepsis six delivered ASAP (within three hours of time of presentation according to surviving sepsis, within an hour if severe sepsis according to RCEM and most trusts).  Surviving sepsis state within six hours of presentation we need vasopressors, re-assessment and re-check of the lactate.

Septic Shock – need vasopressors to keep MAP >65, lactate >2 despite fluid resuscitation. Sepsis 6 – 30mg/ kg for hypotension or lactate >4.

SOFA Scores
New studies have shown that SIRS is non specific and should no longer used for sepsis prognosis. They instead suggest a “SOFA (sepsis related organ failure assessment)” score where a changing score of > 2 = mortality of 10%.
 The Qsofa is a quick bedside alternative, and >2 factors + suspected infection should make you think of sepsis:
"BAT" BP <100
                        Tachypnoea RR >22
This has not made its way into national guidelines yet.

RCEM Guidelines 
Screen for sepsis using “SIRS criteria”
Sepsis risk stratify. Start sepsis six immediately if any one of:
SBP <90mmHg or >40mmHg fall from baseline
MAP <65mmHg
Heart rate >130 per minute*
New need for supplemental oxygen to maintain saturations >90% and bilateral infiltrates.
Respiratory rate >25 per minute*
AVPU = V, P or U*
PaO2 / FiO2 ratio <300 (mmHg) or <39.9 (kPa)
Lactate >2.0mmol/L
Creatinine >176.8┬Ámol/L
INR >1.5
aPTT >60s
Platelet count <100 x109/L
Bilirubin >34.2┬Ámol
Urine output <0.5mL/kg for two consecutive hours

Uncomplicated Sepsis: Decide whether to initiate sepsis six or not, >ST4 review within an hour, hourly obs, repeat lactate in two hours.

Red Flag Sepsis: HR > 130, AVPU less than A, RR >25
If blood results not confirmatory for severe sepsis, senior to review.

Red Flag or Severe: Severe sepsis is no longer in the Sepsis definitions but is in the RCEM guideline. Sepsis six ASAP, but within 60 minutes. >ST4 review. Obs 30minly.  Repeat lactate.

Septic Shock: As above. Inform EM Consultant. Refer to outreach.  Persisting hypotension requiring vasopressors to maintain MAP. Blood lactate >2mmol/L despite adequate volume resuscitation.

NICE Guidelines – July 2016
High risk of sepsis: in <1 year and >75 (or very frail). Immunosuppressed – by drugs or disease. Surgery in past six weeks. Breach of skin integrity. IV drug user. Indwelling lines or catheters. Pregnant or <6 weeks post partum.

Risk stratification for 12years and older – history. Respiratory (>25 or >40% FiO2 to keep sats >92% = high. Moderate = RR 21 – 24). BP (High = <90 or >40 below normal. Mod =91 – 100mmg Hg.). Circ (High = HR >130 bpm, anuric 18 hours, <0.5ml/hour if catheterised. Mod = HR 91 – 130 or new arrhythmia. Anuric 12 – 18 hours. 0.5 – 1ml / kg). Temp (Mod = temp <36). Skin (High = mottled or ashen, cyanosis, non blanching rash. Mod = Skin signs of infection).

There is a different stratification for children <5, and aged 5 – 11.

If >1 high risk criteria, senior clinical decision maker to review. Tests for glucose, lactate, cultures, FBC, CRP, U&E, creatinine, clotting. Antibiotics. Discuss with a Consultant. If septic shock, IV fluids stat, and refer to critical care. If lactate 2-4, give IV fluid bolus within an hour. Lactate <2, consider IV fluids. Monitor every 30minly. Consultant to r/v if failure to respond.

CEM Standards – severe sepsis and septic shock
Observe temp, PR, RR, BP, Mental status, BM on arrival.
Senior EM review within an hour
High flow O2 before leaving ED
Lactate, blood cultures
20mls/ kg fluid – 75% within an hour of arrival, 100% before leaving ED. Antibiotics – 50% within an hour, 100% before leaving ED.
Urine output measured before leaving the ED.

EGDT: Rivers. Found mortality benefit for EGDT.
ProCESS: Looked at protocol resus vs. usual car in septic shock. More ICU admissions in EGDT group. No difference otherwise.
ARISE: Australia. No advantage of EGDT.
PromMISe: UK based. No advantage over EGDT, which also increases costs.

Some theories: busted!
• Activated protein C - doesn't work
• Steroids - don't work, may be a small role only.
• Intensive insulin therapy - was based on harm from hyperglycaemia now used as moderate therapy only.

C reactive protein (CRP) is a protein produced by the liver in response to triggers from macrophages and adipose cells, which binds to the surface of dead or dying cells to activate the complement system.
CRP will rise within 2 hours of inflammation onset and peak at 48hrs. A normal level of CRP is not truly known.

References and Resources

No comments:

Post a comment