G_CS_54 - Guideline for Sepsis Screening

Sepsis is a time-critical medical emergency, which can occur as part of the body's response to infection. The resulting inflammatory response adversely affects tissues and organs. Unless treated quickly, sepsis can progress to severe sepsis, multi-organ failure, septic shock and ultimately death. Septic shock has a 50% mortality rate.

The successful management of sepsis requires a high index of suspicion and early recognition. Patients cared for in the home or walk-in centres must be identified and treated initiated quickly without the use of higher level diagnostics available in the acute hospital setting. Equally clinicians suspecting sepsis in a community hospital  or minor injuries unit will not have the same diagnostics available in an acute hospital and will have to act quickly to reduce the risk to these patients. It is therefore essential to have access to a clinical tool (Appendix 1 & 2) to support their clinical findings and clinical intuition when suspecting patients at risk of sepsis.

The purpose of this guideline is to ensure a standardised Trust wide approach to the screening for sepsis and the actions which should be triggered in the case of abnormality or suspicion. 

  • To articulate the standards expected of those working as clinical staff within the Trust.
  • Improve the quality of sepsis screening and immediate treatment
  • The abnormal ranges of observations that should cause sepsis treatment
  • The process of referral when a patient is found to be deteriorating

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