For the first time, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign has issued evidence-based guidelines for clinicians caring for infants, children, and adolescents with sepsis and sepsis-associated organ dysfunction. Developed by international experts, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign International Guidelines for the Management of Septic Shock and Sepsis-Associated Organ Dysfunction in Children offers 77 recommendations based on current best evidence. The recommendations are intended to guide best practice, but they should not “replace the clinician’s decision-making capability when presented with a patient’s unique set of clinical variables.”

The assessment and management of sepsis in children presents unique challenges. For example, antimicrobial therapy is routinely started within an hour of sepsis diagnosis for adult patients, but the pediatric guidelines recommend a 2-phase evaluation process. Tachypnea and tachycardia are common symptoms of sepsis, but in children these symptoms may be due to other conditions. In addition, hypo-tension,...

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