UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Critical Care

Title: Sepsis Definition

Posted: 1/12/2010 by Evadne Marcolini, MD (Updated: 1/18/2022)
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The term Sepsis is frequently and colloquially used to describe "sick" patients; but accuracy requires understanding the specific criteria of Sepsis and its associated syndromes.  Following are the defining criteria for SIRS and Sepsis:

SIRS

at least 2 of the following:

Temp >38C or <36C

Heart rate >90

RR> 20 or pCO2<32mm Hg

WBC>12,000, <4,000 or >10% bands

 

Sepsis:

Systemic response to infection, manifested by 2 or more SIRS criteria with a source of infection confirmed by culture or a clinical syndrome pathognomic for infection.


Severe Sepsis:

Sepsis associated with acute organ dysfunction, hypoperfusion or hypotension; including lactic acidosis, oliguria or altered mental status.


Septic Shock:

Sepsis-induced hypotension not responsive to fluid resuscitation.

References