Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock

A critical care task force has proposed a new definition for sepsis and septic shock based on advances in science and the testing of clinical criteria against patient outcomes in EHR data.

The Task Force now recommends that sepsis and septic shock be defined as follows:

  • Definitions:
    • Sepsis: Life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection
    • Septic shock: Sepsis with circulatory and cellular/metabolic abnormalities profound enough to substantially increase mortality
  • Clinical Criteria:
    • Sepsis: Suspected or documented infection and an acute increase of ≥ 2 SOFA points (a proxy for organ dysfunction)
    • Septic Shock: Sepsis and vasopressor therapy needed to elevate MAP ≥ 65 mmg Hg and lactate > 2 mmol/L (18 mg/dL) after adequate fluid resuscitation

In an accompanying editorial, Edward Abraham reviews what the new definitions accomplish and leave unaccomplished for our understanding of sepsis.

Related Multimedia

JAMA Whiteboard: The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3)

The JAMA Report: The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3)

JAMA Author Interview: Dr. Derek Angus on The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3)

ESICM Interview with Dr Mervyn Singer, lead author of The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3)

ESICM Interview with Dr Shankar-Hari, lead author of Developing a New Definition and Assessing New Clinical Criteria for Septic Shock (Part 1)

ESICM Interview with Dr Shankar-Hari, lead author of Developing a New Definition and Assessing New Clinical Criteria for Septic Shock (Part 2)

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