Management of septic shock in childhood

Emerg Med Australas. 2004 Apr;16(2):125-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2004.00564.x.


Objective: The object of this review is to discuss the recognition and treatment of septic shock in children based on principles of resuscitation, antibiotic use and recent therapeutic advances.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search combining these

Methods: on-line searches of Ovid, PubMed, and Medline; hand searches of 25 international journals; a trawl of 26 textbooks; searches of reference lists of pertinent articles; and scans of abstracts of recent international meetings. Various national and international units were contacted with regard to current research therapeutic strategies, both published and unpublished.

Conclusions: Septic shock remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Early administration of empirical antibiotic therapy reduces mortality. The keystone of resuscitation is aggressive volume replacement. Adjunctive therapies to modulate the inflammatory response may further enhance outcome, but do not replace principles of resuscitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / etiology
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / therapy
  • Fluid Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods
  • Resuscitation / methods
  • Shock, Septic / complications
  • Shock, Septic / physiopathology
  • Shock, Septic / therapy*


  • Cardiotonic Agents