Pediatric Septic Shock Collaborative Improves Emergency Department Sepsis Care in Children

Pediatrics. 2022 Mar 1;149(3):e2020007369. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-007369.


Objectives: The pediatric emergency department (ED)-based Pediatric Septic Shock Collaborative (PSSC) aimed to improve mortality and key care processes among children with presumed septic shock.

Methods: This was a multicenter learning and improvement collaborative of 19 pediatric EDs from November 2013 to May 2016 with shared screening and patient identification recommendations, bundles of care, and educational materials. Process metrics included minutes to initial vital sign assessment and to first and third fluid bolus and antibiotic administration. Outcomes included 3- and 30-day all-cause in-hospital mortality, hospital and ICU lengths of stay, hours on increased ventilation (including new and increases from chronic baseline in invasive and noninvasive ventilation), and hours on vasoactive agent support. Analysis used statistical process control charts and included both the overall sample and an ICU subgroup.

Results: Process improvements were noted in timely vital sign assessment and receipt of antibiotics in the overall group. Timely first bolus and antibiotics improved in the ICU subgroup. There was a decrease in 30-day all-cause in-hospital mortality in the overall sample.

Conclusions: A multicenter pediatric ED improvement collaborative showed improvement in key processes for early sepsis management and demonstrated that a bundled quality improvement-focused approach to sepsis management can be effective in improving care.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Sepsis* / drug therapy
  • Sepsis* / therapy
  • Shock, Septic* / diagnosis
  • Shock, Septic* / therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents