Pediatric sepsis screening in US hospitals.

TitlePediatric sepsis screening in US hospitals.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsEisenberg MA, Balamuth F
JournalPediatr Res
Date Published2021 Aug 20
ISSN1530-0447
Abstract

Sepsis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children. While adverse outcomes can be reduced through prompt initiation of sepsis protocols including fluid resuscitation and antibiotics, provision of these therapies relies on clinician recognition of sepsis. Recognition is challenging in children because early signs of shock such as tachycardia and tachypnea have low specificity while hypotension often does not occur until late in the clinical course. This narrative review highlights the important context that has led to the rapid growth of pediatric sepsis screening in the United States. In this review, we (1) describe different screening tools used in US emergency department, inpatient, and intensive care unit settings; (2) highlight details of the design, implementation, and evaluation of specific tools; (3) review the available data on the process of integrating sepsis screening into an overall sepsis quality improvement program and on the effect of these screening tools on patient outcomes; (4) discuss potential harms of sepsis screening including alarm fatigue; and (5) highlight several future directions in sepsis screening, such as novel tools that incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning methods to augment sepsis identification with the ultimate goal of precision-based approaches to sepsis recognition and treatment. IMPACT: This narrative review highlights the context that has led to the rapid growth of pediatric sepsis screening nationally. Screening tools used in US emergency department, inpatient, and intensive care unit settings are described in terms of their design, implementation, and clinical performance. Limitations and potential harms of these tools are highlighted, as well as future directions that may lead to a more precision-based approach to sepsis recognition and treatment.

DOI10.1038/s41390-021-01708-y
Alternate JournalPediatr Res
PubMed ID34417563
PubMed Central IDPMC8378117