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Use this guide to find information resources about recognising and caring for adults with presumed sepsis including books, reports and journal articles.

Last updated: 01/02/2024

Key Resources

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (2022) Statement on the initial antimicrobial treatment of sepsis V2.0. London: AoMRC.
The UK Sepsis Trust: Clinical tools
The UK Sepsis Trust (2024) The sepsis manual. 7th edn. Birmingham: The UK Sepsis Trust.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2016) Sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management. NICE guideline NG51. Updated 31 January 2024.
  • Please check that guidance is applicable for your country. NICE guidance is officially England and Wales only.
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NHS England (2017) Sepsis guidance implementation advice for adults, London: NHS England.
  • This document describes an operational definition of sepsis and supports the implementation of the NICE guidelines on the identification and treatment of sepsis.
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Evans L, Rhodes A, Alhazzani W et al. (2021) Executive summary: Surviving Sepsis Campaign: international guidelines for the management of sepsis and septic shock 2021, Critical Care Medicine, 49(11), pp. 1974–1982.
Evans L, Rhodes A, Alhazzani W et al. (2021) Surviving Sepsis Campaign: international guidelines for management of sepsis and septic shock 2021, Critical Care Medicine, 49(11), p. e1063.
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (2023) Care of the deteriorating patient: consensus recommendations 167, Edinburgh: SIGN.
Singer M, Deutschman CS, Seymour C, et al. (2016) The third international consensus definitions for sepsis and septic shock (sepsis-3), JAMA, 315 (8) pp.801-810.
  • Includes the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score.
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European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM): Guidelines and consensus statements
We would like to thank the RCN Critical Care and In-flight nursing community for their input into the development of this subject guide.


Book cover Freeman S, Steen C and Bleakley G (2022) Essentials of nursing critically ill adults. London: SAGE.
Book cover Myers A and Samuels T (2023) Clinical cases in critical care. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
Book cover Peate I and Dutton H (2021) Acute nursing care: recognising and responding to medical emergencies. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge.
Book cover Suh G J (ed.) (2018) Essentials of shock management: a scenario-based approach. Singapore: Springer.
Book cover Tait D, Williams C, Barton D and James J (2022) Acute and critical care in adult nursing. 3rd edn. London: Learning Matters.
Book cover Wiersinga W J and Seymour C W (eds. ) (2018) Handbook of sepsis. Cham: Springer.

Journal articles

Use these links for details of journal articles on each topic.


Book cover Journals of interest for sepsis. Use these links to see details of availability.


The Sepsis Game
  • A game designed in collaboration with UK Sepsis Trust and NHS England for frontline clinical staff and support workers. It is an exciting, unusual and effective way to learn about sepsis. It can be played online.
    Play online
  • Borrow from RCN Library Services
Scott K (2019) Life beyond sepsis, RCN Bulletin,3 June.
  • Quadruple amputee Tom Ray talks about the impact sepsis had on him and how he developed resilience to overcome its devastating effects.
NHS Choices: Sepsis

Upcoming events relating to this subject guide

  • 15 Mar 2024 London

    RCN Acute Care Symposium

    This symposium will provide the latest updates and developments on key issues in acute care nursing to enhance your professional practice and improve patient outcomes.

Page last updated - 01/02/2024