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Surviving sepsis campaign guidelines.

Revised guidelines for the management of severe sepsis and septic shock have recently been published by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC).

The guidelines aim to provide a template approach to the early resuscitation and support of patients with sepsis. They arose from a recognition that care of the septic patient was suboptimal for at least three reasons: first, the entity of sepsis was frequently not diagnosed in a timely fashion, allowing the process to evolve into a life-threatening syndrome of major physiological organ system dysfunction; secondly, even when sepsis was recognised, the urgency of treatment was underappreciated and so haemodynamic resuscitation was tentative and the administration of effective antibiotic therapy was often delayed; finally, treatment was often suboptimal and failed to take advantage of emerging insights into optimal approaches to patient management.

Key recommendations include early goal-directed resuscitation of the septic patient during the first 6 hours after recognition, blood cultures before antibiotic therapy, imaging studies performed promptly to confirm potential source of infection, and administration of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy within 1 hour of diagnosis of septic shock or severe sepsis without septic shock.

While the revised guidelines are acknowledged as far from perfect, they are believed to represent the best available synthesis of contemporary knowledge in this area.

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Publication:Southern African Journal of Critical Care
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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