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Identification and treatment of paediatric sepsis: getting the balance right

25 May 2018

Introduction

Recent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on sepsis1 defines clinical criteria to guide the management of a child presenting with suspected infection (table 1). In children with suspected infection, presence of a ‘high-risk’ criterion should lead to intravenous access, parenteral antibiotic administration and consideration of intravenous fluid boluses, unless a senior decision-making doctor (DMD; defined as a Specialist Trainee (ST) 4 paediatrician, or ST4 emergency physician for older children) makes an alternative diagnosis.

Since clinical screening criteria for sepsis are non-specific,2 many children without sepsis may receive antibiotic treatment for each case of true sepsis. NICE guidance might unintentionally exacerbate this, diverting resources from other clinical areas.3 We assessed the impact of the implementation of NICE Sepsis guidance in the Paediatric Emergency Department (PED) at University College London Hospital.

Methods

All clinical staff undertook training about the NICE Sepsis guidance....

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Archives of Disease in Childhood