Sepsis 2018: Definitions and Guideline Changes

Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2018 Feb/Mar;19(2):117-125. doi: 10.1089/sur.2017.278.


Background: Sepsis is a global healthcare issue and continues to be the leading cause of death from infection. Early recognition and diagnosis of sepsis is required to prevent the transition into septic shock, which is associated with a mortality rate of 40% or more.

Discussion: New definitions for sepsis and septic shock (Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock [Sepsis-3]) have been developed. A new screening tool for sepsis (quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment [qSOFA]) has been proposed to predict the likelihood of poor outcome in out-of-intensive care unit (ICU) patients with clinical suspicion of sepsis. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines were recently updated and include greater evidence-based recommendations for treatment of sepsis in attempts to reduce sepsis-associated mortality. This review discusses the new Sepsis-3 definitions and guidelines.

Keywords: Sepsis-3 definition; Surviving Sepsis Campaign; sepsis; sepsis guidelines; septic shock.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Sepsis / therapy*
  • Terminology as Topic*