Which major new recommendations for the management of bacterial sepsis were published in 2016?

Updated: Feb 05, 2019
  • Author: Amber Mahmood Bokhari, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The 2016 guidelines [60, 61] give a detailed overview of initial resuscitation, screening, and diagnosis of sepsis. The management decisions concerning antibiotic therapy, fluid administration, source control, administration of pressors and steroids, blood products, anticoagulants, immunoglobulins, mechanical ventilation, sedation, analgesia, glucose control, blood purification, renal replacement therapy, bicarbonate, venous thromboembolism and stress ulcer prophylaxis, nutrition, and setting goals of care are addressed. The main differences between the 2012 and 2016 guidelines are discussed in detail in the cited reference. [62]

Unfortunately, a consensus could not be reached between some of the sponsoring organizations. A position paper issued by the IDSA does not endorse the Society of Critical Care Medicine/European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SCCM/ESICM) 2016 Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines for the management of sepsis and septic shock, despite the IDSA's participation in the development of the guidelines. In particular, while the IDSA agrees that the SCCM/ESICM recommendations are life-saving for patients with septic shock, they may lead to overtreatment in those with milder variants of sepsis and sepsis syndromes. The IDSA does not endorse routine initiation of antibiotic therapy within one hour of suspecting sepsis nor administration of combination antibiotic therapy and a 7- to 10-day course of antibiotic therapy for all patients, regardless of presentation factors. The IDSA also notes unclear recommendations for removal of catheters when considered as the source of sepsis and for the role of procalcitonin when monitoring therapeutic response. [63]

As more research related to timing of therapy is completed, further guideline refinement is expected, and perhaps a consensus regarding the treatment approach can be achieved.

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