Initial Emergency Department Diagnosis and Management of Adult Patients with Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock
1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, MedStar Washington Hospital Center; Georgetown University School of Medicine, Georgetown, USA
3 Center for Resuscitation Science, Department of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 2012, 20:41 doi:10.1186/1757-7241-20-41Published: 27 June 2012
Severe sepsis is a medical emergency affecting up to 18 million individuals world wide, with an annual incidence of 750,000 in North America alone. Mortality ranges between 28-50% of those individuals stricken by severe sepsis. Sepsis is a time critical illness, requiring early identification and prompt intervention in order to improve outcomes. This observation has led to increased awareness and education in the field of Emergency Medicine; it has also led to the implementation of critical interventions early in the course of patient management, specifically Early-Goal Directed Therapy, and rapid administration of appropriate antimicrobials. This review begins with a brief summary of the pathophysiology of sepsis, and then addresses the fundamental clinical aspects of ED identification and resuscitation of the septic patient.