Sepsis guidelines established for pediatric patients

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The Surviving Sepsis Campaign on Feb. 7 published new guidelines for diagnosing and treating sepsis in pediatric patients.

Unlike adults, children don't typically experience low blood pressure — a sign of septic shock — until later stages of the illness. Therefore, the guidelines outline a two-phase process to help providers screen children who may have sepsis.

Kids who display symptoms of septic shock should start antibiotics within one hour of detection. Children who don't have initial symptoms should be further evaluated for sepsis, and, if diagnosed, receive antibiotics within three hours of their first screening.

The guidelines also recommend providers obtain blood cultures before starting antibiotics, as long as the testing does not substantially delay treatment.

To learn more about the guidelines, which were published in the journals Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine, click here.

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