What is systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020
  • Author: Ali H Al-Khafaji, MD, MPH, FACP, FCCP, FCCM; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) may follow a variety of clinical insults, including infection, pancreatitis, ischemia, multiple trauma, tissue injury, hemorrhagic shock, or immune-mediated organ injury. SIRS is a nonspecific presentation of these insults and is defined by the presence of 2 or more of the following:

  • Temperature greater than 38.0°C or less than 36.0°C

  • Heart rate higher than 90 beats/min

  • Respiratory rate higher than 20 breaths/min or arterial carbon dioxide tension below 32 mm Hg

  • White blood cell (WBC) count higher than 12,000/µL, lower than 4000/µL, or including more than 10% bands

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