How is systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) defined?

Updated: May 07, 2018
  • Author: Lewis J Kaplan, MD, FACS, FCCM, FCCP; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

In 1992, the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) and the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) introduced definitions for systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), sepsis, severe sepsis, septic shock, and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). [1] The idea behind defining SIRS was to define a clinical response to a nonspecific insult of either infectious or noninfectious origin. SIRS is defined as 2 or more of the following variables (see Presentation and Workup):

  • Fever of more than 38°C (100.4°F) or less than 36°C (96.8°F)

  • Heart rate of more than 90 beats per minute

  • Respiratory rate of more than 20 breaths per minute or arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) of less than 32 mm Hg

  • Abnormal white blood cell count (>12,000/µL or <4,000/µL or >10% immature [band] forms)


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