UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Critical Care

Title: Steroids and Septic Shock

Posted: 7/24/2012 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 4/22/2024)
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Steroids and Septic Shock

  • Do low-dose steroids improve mortality or shock reversal in patients with septic shock?
  • A recent systematic review published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine found:
    • A statistically significant improvement in shock reversal (RR 1.17)
    • A favorable, but not statistically significant, mortality benefit for patients with refractory septic shock (RR 0.92; CI 0.79-1.07)
  • Most guidelines recommend against steroids for septic patients that are responding to fluid resuscitation and vasopressor therapy.
  • Updated guidelines from the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (soon to be published) will continue to recommend low-dose IV corticosteroids (200 mg over 24hrs) for those who are refractory to fluids/vasopressors.

References

Sherwin RL, Garcia AJ, Bilkovski R. Do low-dose corticosteroids improve mortality or shock reversal in patients with septic shock? A systematic review and position statement prepared for the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. JEM 2012;43:7-12.