Sepsis and septic shock are common, pathophysiologically complex, clinical conditions that are associated with high morbidity, mortality, and cost of care. Sepsis occurs in response to infection and results in sepsis-related organ system dysfunction and/or circulatory shock, which have high morbidity and mortality rates for hospitalized patients. Although estimates show trends toward decreases in hospital and case fatality rates, the incidence of sepsis cases is increasing. These developments have resulted in a large number of sepsis-related fatalities and a larger number of survivors who require posthospital care and/or are unable to resume their prior occupation.

Although a growing number of potential biomarkers have been studied to improve the capability of diagnosing sepsis, most lack specificity.4–9  Clinicians are currently using clinical criteria for sepsis surveillance and identification that are based on prior consensus definitions.10  These definitions, however,...

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