Q: Are there time frames related to the sepsis screening criteria? For example, what window of time would qualify to meet criteria for systemic inflammatory response syndrome? Would you expect increases in heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature measurements to occur simultaneously or within 2 to 4 hours? Would the change in white blood cell count be within 12 to 24 hours of elevated heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature? We are looking at using the electronic record to capture an alert for clinicians and wondered if there were any standards for this.

A: Rosemary Lee, DNP, ARNP-BC, CCNS, CCRN, replies:

In the 2012 Surviving Sepsis Guidelines, it is recommended to routinely screen potentially infected patients for sepsis. The sooner sepsis is diagnosed, the sooner the 3-hour bundle can be initiated. The guidelines further recommend the administration of appropriate antibiotics...

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