News: 2021 Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines released

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 46

The 2021 Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines, for the management of sepsis and septic shock, place an “increased emphasis on improving the care of sepsis patients after they are discharge from the intensive care unit and represent greater geographic and gender diversity than previous versions,” according to the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

The 2021 guidelines particularly cover difficulties with treating patients who are experiencing long-term effects of sepsis. The guidelines recommend “involving patients and their families in goals-of-care discussions and hospital discharge plans” to help preemptively address issues with patients being uncertain in how to coordinate care.

The guidelines also include infographics for antibiotic timing and vasoactive agent management. If sepsis is definite or probable and whether or not shock is present, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines recommend administering antimicrobials immediately, and ideally within one hour of recognition. If sepsis is possible and shock is present, again the guidelines recommend administering antimicrobials immediately and ideally within one hour of recognition. If shock is absent, there should be a rapid assessment of infectious versus noninfectious causes of acute illness. Additionally, antimicrobials should be administered withing three hours if the concern for infection persists.

In terms of vasoactive agent management, the new guidelines strongly recommend using norepinephrine as a first-line vasopressor. For patients with septic shock on vasopressors, it is also recommended to consider invasive monitoring of arterial blood pressure. If central access is not yet available, consider initiating vasopressors peripherally.

The full 2021 Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines can be found here.  

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