Sepsis: Recognizing and Managing

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Learning Objectives

  • Sources of infection
  • Risk monitoring
  • Fluid management

Course Description

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the mediators of inflammation provoke a system-wide response. Vasodilation and increased permeability—normally helpful for a targeted immune response—become widespread, leading to fluid loss throughout the vascular bed. Inadequate fluid volume in the circulatory system causes lowered blood pressure and decreased oxygenation of tissues. Compromised oxygen delivery and inadequate waste removal smothers tissues and organs. Dysregulated coagulation clogs the microvasculature, worsening the crisis. If sepsis progresses to severe sepsis (defined as sepsis with signs of organ dysfunction), clinical support of organ function becomes critically necessary.

The goal of treatment in severe sepsis is to prevent organ dysfunction from becoming organ damage. The onset of multiple organ failures can lead to cascading crises, septic shock, and mortality rising to 50%.

The key to conquering sepsis is to catch it when it is a complaint and before it is a crisis. Early diagnosis and treatment are the crucial factors in favorable outcomes for sepsis patients.

Did you know…

  • More than 1.2 million Americans are afflicted with sepsis every year
  • Sepsis kills more than 200,000 Americans annually
  • The number of hospital stays for sepsis more than doubled between 1993 and 2009
  • Sepsis is the most expensive cause of hospitalization
  • Sepsis causes over 50% of hospital deaths
  • Every hour of missing the diagnosis increases mortality by 8%

Course at a Glance

Target Audience:     Clinicians

Time to Complete: 30 Minutes

Contributor: SynAptiv

Data Confidently Held Misinformation (CHM) in the Diagnosis & Treatment of Sepsis

Sepsis often goes undiagnosed and untreated because of confidently held misinformation (CHM) in the minds of health professionals.

The Amplifire Sepsis Challenge, September—November 2017, was designed to discover the areas in which physicians hold common misconception in the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. At the same time, clinicians were introduced to Amplifire, a confidence-based learning platform designed to find and fix confidently held misinformation. It was a first of its kind study and involved 1,245 clinicians from 23 facilities.

Author Information

Amplifire courses are created in collaboration with Alliance experts, reviewed often, and updated regularly. This course was developed in collaboration with Alliance members, then revised by Dr. Scott de la Cruz, MD, MPH. In addition to primary care, Dr. de la Cruz provides clinical and classroom instruction and mentorship to learners at all levels of medical training. He is a member of the Academy of Medical Educators Executive Committee, the Palliative Care Partners Executive Committee, the Life Quality Institute of Colorado, the Palliative Care Champions Committee, and the Advisory College Program. After piloting, the course was revised in collaboration with Daniel Davis, MD, founder of the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). We thank two expert reviewers with worldwide eminence in the sepsis community, Dr. Paul Marik and Dr. Simon Finfer, for thoughtful critical comments and guidance in dealing with the most current issues in sepsis management.