Sepsis definitions

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Sepsis currently has differing definitions as shown in the table below. These definitions were compiled from the three following sources:

1) Surviving Sepsis Campaign: International Guidelines for Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock (2016)

2) Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (2015/2016)

3) The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3) from 2016

Sepsis Severe Sepsis Septic Shock
Surviving Sepsis


Life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection Not defined A subset of sepsis with circulatory and cellular/metabolic dysfunction associated with a higher risk of mortality
Center of Medicare and

Medicaid Services

Both of the following:

1) 2 or more SIRS criteria

2) Known/suspected source of infection

Sepsis + end organ dysfunction

(See CMS Sepsis Core Measure Algorithm)

Severe Sepsis + Lactate level greater than/equal to 4 mmol/L OR hypotension in the first hour after completion of a 30 ml/kg bolus
Sepsis-3 Acute change in greater than/equal to 2 SOFA criteria secondary to an infection Not defined Requirement of vasopressors to maintain MAP > 65 mmHg and serum lactate > 2 mmol/L in the absence of hypovolemia

This table is based on the 2019 published table by the Wisconsin Chapter of American College of Emergency Physicians.

See also

External links