Surviving sepsis campaign: International guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2012

The Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines Committee including The Pediatric Subgroup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3723 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To provide an update to the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock,” last published in 2008. Design: A consensus committee of 68 international experts representing 30 international organizations was convened. Nominal groups were assembled at key international meetings (for those committee members attending the conference). A formal conflict of interest policy was developed at the onset of the process and enforced throughout. The entire guidelines process was conducted independent of any industry funding. A stand-alone meeting was held for all subgroup heads, co- and vice-chairs, and selected individuals. Teleconferences and electronic-based discussion among subgroups and among the entire committee served as an integral part of the development. Methods: The authors were advised to follow the principles of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system to guide assessment of quality of evidence from high (A) to very low (D) and to determine the strength of recommendations as strong (1) or weak (2). The potential drawbacks of making strong recommendations in the presence of lowquality evidence were emphasized. Some recommendations were ungraded (UG). Recommendations were classified into three groups: 1) those directly targeting severe sepsis; 2) those targeting general care of the critically ill patient and considered high priority in severe sepsis; and 3) pediatric considerations. Results: Key recommendations and suggestions, listed by category, include: early quantitative resuscitation of the septic patient during the first 6 hrs after recognition (1C); blood cultures before antibiotic therapy (1C); imaging studies performed promptly to confirm a potential source of infection (UG); administration of broad-spectrum antimicrobials therapy within 1 hr of recognition of septic shock (1B) and severe sepsis without septic shock (1C) as the goal of therapy; reassessment of antimicrobial therapy daily for de-escalation, when appropriate (1B); infection source control with attention to the balance of risks and benefits of the chosen method within 12 hrs of diagnosis (1C); initial fluid resuscitation with crystalloid (1B) and consideration of the addition of albumin in patients who continue to require substantial amounts of crystalloid to maintain adequate mean arterial pressure (2C) and the avoidance of hetastarch formulations (1C); initial fluid challenge in patients with sepsis-induced tissue hypoperfusion and suspicion of hypovolemia to achieve a minimum of 30 mL/kg of crystalloids (more rapid administration and greater amounts of fluid may be needed in some patients) (1C); fluid challenge technique continued as long as hemodynamic improvement, as based on either dynamic or static variables (UG); norepinephrine as the first-choice vasopressor to maintain mean arterial pressure ≥ 65 mm Hg (1B); epinephrine when an additional agent is needed to maintain adequate blood pressure (2B); vasopressin (0.03 U/min) can be added to norepinephrine to either raise mean arterial pressure to target or to decrease norepinephrine dose but should not be used as the initial vasopressor (UG); dopamine is not recommended except in highly selected circumstances (2C); dobutamine infusion administered or added to vasopressor in the presence of a) myocardial dysfunction as suggested by elevated cardiac filling pressures and low cardiac output, or b) ongoing signs of hypoperfusion despite achieving adequate intravascular volume and adequate mean arterial pressure (1C); avoiding use of intravenous hydrocortisone in adult septic shock patients if adequate fluid resuscitation and vasopressor therapy are able to restore hemodynamic stability (2C); hemoglobin target of 7–9 g/dL in the absence of tissue hypoperfusion, ischemic coronary artery disease, or acute hemorrhage (1B); low tidal volume (1A) and limitation of inspiratory plateau pressure (1B) for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); application of at least a minimal amount of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) in ARDS (1B); higher rather than lower level of PEEP for patients with sepsis-induced moderate or severe ARDS (2C); recruitment maneuvers in sepsis patients with severe refractory hypoxemia due to ARDS (2C); prone positioning in sepsis-induced ARDS patients with a Pao2/Fio2 ratio of ≤ 100 mm Hg in facilities that have experience with such practices (2C); head-of-bed elevation in mechanically ventilated patients unless contraindicated (1B); a conservative fluid strategy for patients with established ARDS who do not have evidence of tissue hypoperfusion (1C); protocols for weaning and sedation (1A); minimizing use of either intermittent bolus sedation or continuous infusion sedation targeting specific titration endpoints (1B); avoidance of neuromuscular blockers if possible in the septic patient without ARDS (1C); a short course of neuromuscular blocker (no longer than 48 hrs) for patients with early ARDS and a Pao2/Fio2 < 150 mm Hg (2C); a protocolized approach to blood glucose management commencing insulin dosing when two consecutive blood glucose levels are > 180 mg/dL, targeting an upper blood glucose ≤ 180 mg/dL (1A); equivalency of continuous veno-venous hemofiltration or intermittent hemodialysis (2B); prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis (1B); use of stress ulcer prophylaxis to prevent upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with bleeding risk factors (1B); oral or enteral (if necessary) feedings, as tolerated, rather than either complete fasting or provision of only intravenous glucose within the first 48 hrs after a diagnosis of severe sepsis/ septic shock (2C); and addressing goals of care, including treatment plans and end-of-life planning (as appropriate) (1B), as early as feasible, but within 72 hrs of intensive care unit admission (2C). Recommendations specific to pediatric severe sepsis include: therapy with face mask oxygen, high flow nasal cannula oxygen, or nasopharyngeal continuous PEEP in the presence of respiratory distress and hypoxemia (2C), use of physical examination therapeutic endpoints such as capillary refill (2C); for septic shock associated with hypovolemia, the use of crystalloids or albumin to deliver a bolus of 20 mL/kg of crystalloids (or albumin equivalent) over 5 to 10 mins (2C); more common use of inotropes and vasodilators for low cardiac output septic shock associated with elevated systemic vascular resistance (2C); and use of hydrocortisone only in children with suspected or proven “absolute”‘ adrenal insufficiency (2C). Conclusions: Strong agreement existed among a large cohort of international experts regarding many level 1 recommendations for the best care of patients with severe sepsis. Although a significant number of aspects of care have relatively weak support, evidence-based recommendations regarding the acute management of sepsis and septic shock are the foundation of improved outcomes for this important group of critically ill patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-637
Number of pages58
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Septic Shock
Sepsis
Guidelines
Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Positive-Pressure Respiration
Arterial Pressure
Resuscitation
Neuromuscular Blocking Agents
Low Cardiac Output
Albumins
Norepinephrine
Hypovolemia
Therapeutics
Hemorrhage
Critical Illness
Hydrocortisone
Hemodynamics
Head
Hydroxyethyl Starch Derivatives
Patient Care Planning

Keywords

  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation criteria
  • Guidelines
  • Infection
  • Sepsis
  • Sepsis bundles
  • Sepsis syndrome
  • Septic shock
  • Severe sepsis
  • Surviving Sepsis Campaign

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

Surviving sepsis campaign : International guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2012. / The Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines Committee including The Pediatric Subgroup.

In: Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2013, p. 580-637.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines Committee including The Pediatric Subgroup 2013, 'Surviving sepsis campaign: International guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2012', Critical Care Medicine, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 580-637. https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0b013e31827e83af
The Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines Committee including The Pediatric Subgroup. / Surviving sepsis campaign : International guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2012. In: Critical Care Medicine. 2013 ; Vol. 41, No. 2. pp. 580-637.
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abstract = "Objective: To provide an update to the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock,” last published in 2008. Design: A consensus committee of 68 international experts representing 30 international organizations was convened. Nominal groups were assembled at key international meetings (for those committee members attending the conference). A formal conflict of interest policy was developed at the onset of the process and enforced throughout. The entire guidelines process was conducted independent of any industry funding. A stand-alone meeting was held for all subgroup heads, co- and vice-chairs, and selected individuals. Teleconferences and electronic-based discussion among subgroups and among the entire committee served as an integral part of the development. Methods: The authors were advised to follow the principles of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system to guide assessment of quality of evidence from high (A) to very low (D) and to determine the strength of recommendations as strong (1) or weak (2). The potential drawbacks of making strong recommendations in the presence of lowquality evidence were emphasized. Some recommendations were ungraded (UG). Recommendations were classified into three groups: 1) those directly targeting severe sepsis; 2) those targeting general care of the critically ill patient and considered high priority in severe sepsis; and 3) pediatric considerations. Results: Key recommendations and suggestions, listed by category, include: early quantitative resuscitation of the septic patient during the first 6 hrs after recognition (1C); blood cultures before antibiotic therapy (1C); imaging studies performed promptly to confirm a potential source of infection (UG); administration of broad-spectrum antimicrobials therapy within 1 hr of recognition of septic shock (1B) and severe sepsis without septic shock (1C) as the goal of therapy; reassessment of antimicrobial therapy daily for de-escalation, when appropriate (1B); infection source control with attention to the balance of risks and benefits of the chosen method within 12 hrs of diagnosis (1C); initial fluid resuscitation with crystalloid (1B) and consideration of the addition of albumin in patients who continue to require substantial amounts of crystalloid to maintain adequate mean arterial pressure (2C) and the avoidance of hetastarch formulations (1C); initial fluid challenge in patients with sepsis-induced tissue hypoperfusion and suspicion of hypovolemia to achieve a minimum of 30 mL/kg of crystalloids (more rapid administration and greater amounts of fluid may be needed in some patients) (1C); fluid challenge technique continued as long as hemodynamic improvement, as based on either dynamic or static variables (UG); norepinephrine as the first-choice vasopressor to maintain mean arterial pressure ≥ 65 mm Hg (1B); epinephrine when an additional agent is needed to maintain adequate blood pressure (2B); vasopressin (0.03 U/min) can be added to norepinephrine to either raise mean arterial pressure to target or to decrease norepinephrine dose but should not be used as the initial vasopressor (UG); dopamine is not recommended except in highly selected circumstances (2C); dobutamine infusion administered or added to vasopressor in the presence of a) myocardial dysfunction as suggested by elevated cardiac filling pressures and low cardiac output, or b) ongoing signs of hypoperfusion despite achieving adequate intravascular volume and adequate mean arterial pressure (1C); avoiding use of intravenous hydrocortisone in adult septic shock patients if adequate fluid resuscitation and vasopressor therapy are able to restore hemodynamic stability (2C); hemoglobin target of 7–9 g/dL in the absence of tissue hypoperfusion, ischemic coronary artery disease, or acute hemorrhage (1B); low tidal volume (1A) and limitation of inspiratory plateau pressure (1B) for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); application of at least a minimal amount of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) in ARDS (1B); higher rather than lower level of PEEP for patients with sepsis-induced moderate or severe ARDS (2C); recruitment maneuvers in sepsis patients with severe refractory hypoxemia due to ARDS (2C); prone positioning in sepsis-induced ARDS patients with a Pao2/Fio2 ratio of ≤ 100 mm Hg in facilities that have experience with such practices (2C); head-of-bed elevation in mechanically ventilated patients unless contraindicated (1B); a conservative fluid strategy for patients with established ARDS who do not have evidence of tissue hypoperfusion (1C); protocols for weaning and sedation (1A); minimizing use of either intermittent bolus sedation or continuous infusion sedation targeting specific titration endpoints (1B); avoidance of neuromuscular blockers if possible in the septic patient without ARDS (1C); a short course of neuromuscular blocker (no longer than 48 hrs) for patients with early ARDS and a Pao2/Fio2 < 150 mm Hg (2C); a protocolized approach to blood glucose management commencing insulin dosing when two consecutive blood glucose levels are > 180 mg/dL, targeting an upper blood glucose ≤ 180 mg/dL (1A); equivalency of continuous veno-venous hemofiltration or intermittent hemodialysis (2B); prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis (1B); use of stress ulcer prophylaxis to prevent upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with bleeding risk factors (1B); oral or enteral (if necessary) feedings, as tolerated, rather than either complete fasting or provision of only intravenous glucose within the first 48 hrs after a diagnosis of severe sepsis/ septic shock (2C); and addressing goals of care, including treatment plans and end-of-life planning (as appropriate) (1B), as early as feasible, but within 72 hrs of intensive care unit admission (2C). Recommendations specific to pediatric severe sepsis include: therapy with face mask oxygen, high flow nasal cannula oxygen, or nasopharyngeal continuous PEEP in the presence of respiratory distress and hypoxemia (2C), use of physical examination therapeutic endpoints such as capillary refill (2C); for septic shock associated with hypovolemia, the use of crystalloids or albumin to deliver a bolus of 20 mL/kg of crystalloids (or albumin equivalent) over 5 to 10 mins (2C); more common use of inotropes and vasodilators for low cardiac output septic shock associated with elevated systemic vascular resistance (2C); and use of hydrocortisone only in children with suspected or proven “absolute”‘ adrenal insufficiency (2C). Conclusions: Strong agreement existed among a large cohort of international experts regarding many level 1 recommendations for the best care of patients with severe sepsis. Although a significant number of aspects of care have relatively weak support, evidence-based recommendations regarding the acute management of sepsis and septic shock are the foundation of improved outcomes for this important group of critically ill patients.",
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doi = "10.1097/CCM.0b013e31827e83af",
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pages = "580--637",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Surviving sepsis campaign

T2 - International guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2012

AU - The Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines Committee including The Pediatric Subgroup

AU - Dellinger, R. Phillip

AU - Levy, Mitchell M.

AU - Rhodes, Andrew

AU - Annane, Djillali

AU - Gerlach, Herwig

AU - Opal, Steven M.

AU - Sevransky, Jonathan E.

AU - Sprung, Charles L.

AU - Douglas, Ivor S.

AU - Jaeschke, Roman

AU - Osborn, Tiffany M.

AU - Nunnally, Mark E.

AU - Townsend, Sean R.

AU - Reinhart, Konrad

AU - Kleinpell, Ruth M.

AU - Angus, Derek C.

AU - Deutschman, Clifford S.

AU - Machado, Flavia R.

AU - Rubenfeld, Gordon D.

AU - Webb, Steven A.

AU - Beale, Richard J.

AU - Vincent, Jean Louis

AU - Moreno, Rui

AU - Dellinger, R. Phillip

AU - Moreno, Rui

AU - Aitken, Leanne

AU - Al Rahma, Hussain

AU - Angus, Derek C.

AU - Annane, Dijillali

AU - Beale, Richard J.

AU - Bernard, Gordon R.

AU - Biban, Paolo

AU - Fujishima, Seitaro

AU - Calandra, Thierry

AU - Carcillo, Joseph A.

AU - Clemmer, Terry P.

AU - Deutschman, Clifford S.

AU - Divatia, J. V.

AU - Douglas, Ivor S.

AU - Du, Bin

AU - Fujishima, Seitaro

AU - Gando, Satoshi

AU - Gerlach, Herwig

AU - Goodyear-Bruch, Caryl

AU - Guyatt, Gordon

AU - Hazelzet, Jan A.

AU - Hirasawa, Hiroyuki

AU - Hollenberg, Steven M.

AU - Jacobi, Judith

AU - Jaeschke, Roman

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Objective: To provide an update to the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock,” last published in 2008. Design: A consensus committee of 68 international experts representing 30 international organizations was convened. Nominal groups were assembled at key international meetings (for those committee members attending the conference). A formal conflict of interest policy was developed at the onset of the process and enforced throughout. The entire guidelines process was conducted independent of any industry funding. A stand-alone meeting was held for all subgroup heads, co- and vice-chairs, and selected individuals. Teleconferences and electronic-based discussion among subgroups and among the entire committee served as an integral part of the development. Methods: The authors were advised to follow the principles of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system to guide assessment of quality of evidence from high (A) to very low (D) and to determine the strength of recommendations as strong (1) or weak (2). The potential drawbacks of making strong recommendations in the presence of lowquality evidence were emphasized. Some recommendations were ungraded (UG). Recommendations were classified into three groups: 1) those directly targeting severe sepsis; 2) those targeting general care of the critically ill patient and considered high priority in severe sepsis; and 3) pediatric considerations. Results: Key recommendations and suggestions, listed by category, include: early quantitative resuscitation of the septic patient during the first 6 hrs after recognition (1C); blood cultures before antibiotic therapy (1C); imaging studies performed promptly to confirm a potential source of infection (UG); administration of broad-spectrum antimicrobials therapy within 1 hr of recognition of septic shock (1B) and severe sepsis without septic shock (1C) as the goal of therapy; reassessment of antimicrobial therapy daily for de-escalation, when appropriate (1B); infection source control with attention to the balance of risks and benefits of the chosen method within 12 hrs of diagnosis (1C); initial fluid resuscitation with crystalloid (1B) and consideration of the addition of albumin in patients who continue to require substantial amounts of crystalloid to maintain adequate mean arterial pressure (2C) and the avoidance of hetastarch formulations (1C); initial fluid challenge in patients with sepsis-induced tissue hypoperfusion and suspicion of hypovolemia to achieve a minimum of 30 mL/kg of crystalloids (more rapid administration and greater amounts of fluid may be needed in some patients) (1C); fluid challenge technique continued as long as hemodynamic improvement, as based on either dynamic or static variables (UG); norepinephrine as the first-choice vasopressor to maintain mean arterial pressure ≥ 65 mm Hg (1B); epinephrine when an additional agent is needed to maintain adequate blood pressure (2B); vasopressin (0.03 U/min) can be added to norepinephrine to either raise mean arterial pressure to target or to decrease norepinephrine dose but should not be used as the initial vasopressor (UG); dopamine is not recommended except in highly selected circumstances (2C); dobutamine infusion administered or added to vasopressor in the presence of a) myocardial dysfunction as suggested by elevated cardiac filling pressures and low cardiac output, or b) ongoing signs of hypoperfusion despite achieving adequate intravascular volume and adequate mean arterial pressure (1C); avoiding use of intravenous hydrocortisone in adult septic shock patients if adequate fluid resuscitation and vasopressor therapy are able to restore hemodynamic stability (2C); hemoglobin target of 7–9 g/dL in the absence of tissue hypoperfusion, ischemic coronary artery disease, or acute hemorrhage (1B); low tidal volume (1A) and limitation of inspiratory plateau pressure (1B) for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); application of at least a minimal amount of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) in ARDS (1B); higher rather than lower level of PEEP for patients with sepsis-induced moderate or severe ARDS (2C); recruitment maneuvers in sepsis patients with severe refractory hypoxemia due to ARDS (2C); prone positioning in sepsis-induced ARDS patients with a Pao2/Fio2 ratio of ≤ 100 mm Hg in facilities that have experience with such practices (2C); head-of-bed elevation in mechanically ventilated patients unless contraindicated (1B); a conservative fluid strategy for patients with established ARDS who do not have evidence of tissue hypoperfusion (1C); protocols for weaning and sedation (1A); minimizing use of either intermittent bolus sedation or continuous infusion sedation targeting specific titration endpoints (1B); avoidance of neuromuscular blockers if possible in the septic patient without ARDS (1C); a short course of neuromuscular blocker (no longer than 48 hrs) for patients with early ARDS and a Pao2/Fio2 < 150 mm Hg (2C); a protocolized approach to blood glucose management commencing insulin dosing when two consecutive blood glucose levels are > 180 mg/dL, targeting an upper blood glucose ≤ 180 mg/dL (1A); equivalency of continuous veno-venous hemofiltration or intermittent hemodialysis (2B); prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis (1B); use of stress ulcer prophylaxis to prevent upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with bleeding risk factors (1B); oral or enteral (if necessary) feedings, as tolerated, rather than either complete fasting or provision of only intravenous glucose within the first 48 hrs after a diagnosis of severe sepsis/ septic shock (2C); and addressing goals of care, including treatment plans and end-of-life planning (as appropriate) (1B), as early as feasible, but within 72 hrs of intensive care unit admission (2C). Recommendations specific to pediatric severe sepsis include: therapy with face mask oxygen, high flow nasal cannula oxygen, or nasopharyngeal continuous PEEP in the presence of respiratory distress and hypoxemia (2C), use of physical examination therapeutic endpoints such as capillary refill (2C); for septic shock associated with hypovolemia, the use of crystalloids or albumin to deliver a bolus of 20 mL/kg of crystalloids (or albumin equivalent) over 5 to 10 mins (2C); more common use of inotropes and vasodilators for low cardiac output septic shock associated with elevated systemic vascular resistance (2C); and use of hydrocortisone only in children with suspected or proven “absolute”‘ adrenal insufficiency (2C). Conclusions: Strong agreement existed among a large cohort of international experts regarding many level 1 recommendations for the best care of patients with severe sepsis. Although a significant number of aspects of care have relatively weak support, evidence-based recommendations regarding the acute management of sepsis and septic shock are the foundation of improved outcomes for this important group of critically ill patients.

AB - Objective: To provide an update to the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock,” last published in 2008. Design: A consensus committee of 68 international experts representing 30 international organizations was convened. Nominal groups were assembled at key international meetings (for those committee members attending the conference). A formal conflict of interest policy was developed at the onset of the process and enforced throughout. The entire guidelines process was conducted independent of any industry funding. A stand-alone meeting was held for all subgroup heads, co- and vice-chairs, and selected individuals. Teleconferences and electronic-based discussion among subgroups and among the entire committee served as an integral part of the development. Methods: The authors were advised to follow the principles of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system to guide assessment of quality of evidence from high (A) to very low (D) and to determine the strength of recommendations as strong (1) or weak (2). The potential drawbacks of making strong recommendations in the presence of lowquality evidence were emphasized. Some recommendations were ungraded (UG). Recommendations were classified into three groups: 1) those directly targeting severe sepsis; 2) those targeting general care of the critically ill patient and considered high priority in severe sepsis; and 3) pediatric considerations. Results: Key recommendations and suggestions, listed by category, include: early quantitative resuscitation of the septic patient during the first 6 hrs after recognition (1C); blood cultures before antibiotic therapy (1C); imaging studies performed promptly to confirm a potential source of infection (UG); administration of broad-spectrum antimicrobials therapy within 1 hr of recognition of septic shock (1B) and severe sepsis without septic shock (1C) as the goal of therapy; reassessment of antimicrobial therapy daily for de-escalation, when appropriate (1B); infection source control with attention to the balance of risks and benefits of the chosen method within 12 hrs of diagnosis (1C); initial fluid resuscitation with crystalloid (1B) and consideration of the addition of albumin in patients who continue to require substantial amounts of crystalloid to maintain adequate mean arterial pressure (2C) and the avoidance of hetastarch formulations (1C); initial fluid challenge in patients with sepsis-induced tissue hypoperfusion and suspicion of hypovolemia to achieve a minimum of 30 mL/kg of crystalloids (more rapid administration and greater amounts of fluid may be needed in some patients) (1C); fluid challenge technique continued as long as hemodynamic improvement, as based on either dynamic or static variables (UG); norepinephrine as the first-choice vasopressor to maintain mean arterial pressure ≥ 65 mm Hg (1B); epinephrine when an additional agent is needed to maintain adequate blood pressure (2B); vasopressin (0.03 U/min) can be added to norepinephrine to either raise mean arterial pressure to target or to decrease norepinephrine dose but should not be used as the initial vasopressor (UG); dopamine is not recommended except in highly selected circumstances (2C); dobutamine infusion administered or added to vasopressor in the presence of a) myocardial dysfunction as suggested by elevated cardiac filling pressures and low cardiac output, or b) ongoing signs of hypoperfusion despite achieving adequate intravascular volume and adequate mean arterial pressure (1C); avoiding use of intravenous hydrocortisone in adult septic shock patients if adequate fluid resuscitation and vasopressor therapy are able to restore hemodynamic stability (2C); hemoglobin target of 7–9 g/dL in the absence of tissue hypoperfusion, ischemic coronary artery disease, or acute hemorrhage (1B); low tidal volume (1A) and limitation of inspiratory plateau pressure (1B) for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); application of at least a minimal amount of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) in ARDS (1B); higher rather than lower level of PEEP for patients with sepsis-induced moderate or severe ARDS (2C); recruitment maneuvers in sepsis patients with severe refractory hypoxemia due to ARDS (2C); prone positioning in sepsis-induced ARDS patients with a Pao2/Fio2 ratio of ≤ 100 mm Hg in facilities that have experience with such practices (2C); head-of-bed elevation in mechanically ventilated patients unless contraindicated (1B); a conservative fluid strategy for patients with established ARDS who do not have evidence of tissue hypoperfusion (1C); protocols for weaning and sedation (1A); minimizing use of either intermittent bolus sedation or continuous infusion sedation targeting specific titration endpoints (1B); avoidance of neuromuscular blockers if possible in the septic patient without ARDS (1C); a short course of neuromuscular blocker (no longer than 48 hrs) for patients with early ARDS and a Pao2/Fio2 < 150 mm Hg (2C); a protocolized approach to blood glucose management commencing insulin dosing when two consecutive blood glucose levels are > 180 mg/dL, targeting an upper blood glucose ≤ 180 mg/dL (1A); equivalency of continuous veno-venous hemofiltration or intermittent hemodialysis (2B); prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis (1B); use of stress ulcer prophylaxis to prevent upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with bleeding risk factors (1B); oral or enteral (if necessary) feedings, as tolerated, rather than either complete fasting or provision of only intravenous glucose within the first 48 hrs after a diagnosis of severe sepsis/ septic shock (2C); and addressing goals of care, including treatment plans and end-of-life planning (as appropriate) (1B), as early as feasible, but within 72 hrs of intensive care unit admission (2C). Recommendations specific to pediatric severe sepsis include: therapy with face mask oxygen, high flow nasal cannula oxygen, or nasopharyngeal continuous PEEP in the presence of respiratory distress and hypoxemia (2C), use of physical examination therapeutic endpoints such as capillary refill (2C); for septic shock associated with hypovolemia, the use of crystalloids or albumin to deliver a bolus of 20 mL/kg of crystalloids (or albumin equivalent) over 5 to 10 mins (2C); more common use of inotropes and vasodilators for low cardiac output septic shock associated with elevated systemic vascular resistance (2C); and use of hydrocortisone only in children with suspected or proven “absolute”‘ adrenal insufficiency (2C). Conclusions: Strong agreement existed among a large cohort of international experts regarding many level 1 recommendations for the best care of patients with severe sepsis. Although a significant number of aspects of care have relatively weak support, evidence-based recommendations regarding the acute management of sepsis and septic shock are the foundation of improved outcomes for this important group of critically ill patients.

KW - Evidence-based medicine

KW - Grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation criteria

KW - Guidelines

KW - Infection

KW - Sepsis

KW - Sepsis bundles

KW - Sepsis syndrome

KW - Septic shock

KW - Severe sepsis

KW - Surviving Sepsis Campaign

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