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EMGuidewire's Podcast

Sep 30, 2019

It it the end of Sepsis Awareness Month, but there is a BONUS Monday (Sept. 30th), so why not a BONUS episode! Join the EMGuideWire Team as they explore the challenges the children bring to this clinical condition. Let's review Pediatric Sepsis!


  • Screening should be age adjusted. Identify severe sepsis. Treat w/early antibiotics, balanced fluid administration, and EPI if needed.  
  • SIRS in children must be age-adjusted. HR & RR > 2 standard deviations of nml; WBC age adjusted. 
  • Screen: high risk medical history + vital sign abnormalities (age based SIRS) require check of cap refill, mental status, and general appearance followed by a physician assessment.
  • Identify: Severe sepsis = sepsis + organ dysfunction (CV/resp/neuro/renal/hepatic dysfunction). Order a lactate, CBC, CMP, and blood cultures, and consider CXR and UA. CRP is helpful for inpatient team. 
  • Higher lactate has higher mortality and is associated with septic shock.
  • Treat: Start 20cc/kg bolus LR and reassess. Those with heart disease can’t take anymore fluids after this, so only add pressors if needed. Continue to 40cc/kg and up to 60cc/kg total bolus prior to pressors for other patients. 
  • If still hypotensive, start 0.1 mcg/kg/min of EPI (peripheral or IO). 
  • Early antibiotics saves lives. 
  • LR is better than NS.


Summarized by: Travis Barlock, MD PGY-1

  • Emrath ET, Fortenberry JD, Travers C, McCracken CE, Hebbar KB. Resuscitation With Balanced Fluids Is Associated With Improved Survival in Pediatric Severe Sepsis. Critical Care Medicine. 2017 Jul;45(7):1177-1183
  • Ventura et al. Double-Blind Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial of Dopamine Versus Epinephrine as First-Line Vasoactive Drugs in Pediatric Septic Shock. Critical Care Medicine. 2015; 43(11):2292-302