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Children and Young People: Sepsis

Sepsis can affect anyone at any time in life but it tends to strike the population at the extremes of age. As a result children, particularly premature babies and infants can be more susceptible to developing sepsis. Early recognition and intervention clearly improves the outcome for children presenting with sepsis. Use this guide to find information resources about recognising and caring for a child with presumed sepsis including books, reports and journal articles.

Last updated: 03/09/2021

Key Resources

Royal College of Nursing (2017) Standards for assessing, measuring and monitoring vital signs in infants, children and young people, London: RCN Royal College of Nursing (2017) Standards for assessing, measuring and monitoring vital signs in infants, children and young people, London: RCN
Department of Health and Health Education England: Spotting the sick child
  • An interactive tool to support health professionals in the assessment of the acutely sick child. You will need to register to use this site.
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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2016) Sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management: NICE guidelines NG51, London: NICE.
  • NICE guidance is officially England only
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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2019) Fever in under 5s: assessment and initial management: NICE guidelines NG143, London: NICE.
  • NICE guidance is officially England only.
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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2012) Meningitis (bacterial) and meningococcal septicaemia in children and young people: NICE quality standard QS19, London: NICE.
  • NICE guidance is officially England only.
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Peters A (2020) Searching for sepsis. Don't Forget the Bubbles.
  • Summary and analysis of journal article: Nijman R G, Jorgensen R, Levin M, Herberg J, and Maconochie I K (2020) Management of children with fever at risk for pediatric sepsis: a prospective study in pediatric emergency care, Frontiers in Pediatrics, 8. doi.org/10.3389/fped.2020.548154
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Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health: Paediatric sepsis podcasts
The UK Sepsis Trust: Clinical tools
  • Produced in collaboration with NICE, NHS England and other experts, these tools support excellent sepsis care.
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Weiss S L, Peters M J, Alhazzani W et al. (2020) Surviving sepsis campaign international guidelines for the management of septic shock and sepsis-associated organ dysfunction in children, Intensive Care Medicine. 46, pp. 10–67.
We would like to thank the RCN CYP Acute member community for their input into the development of this subject guide.

Books

Advanced Paediatric Life Support Group (2016) Advanced paediatric life support: a practical approach to emergencies, Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. Advanced Paediatric Life Support Group (2016) Advanced paediatric life support: a practical approach to emergencies. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
Daniels R (2014) Survive sepsis: the official training programme of the UK Sepsis Trust. Sutton Coldfield: UK Sepsis Trust.
Duncan C, Talano J and McArthur J (eds.) (2019) Critical care of the pediatric immunocompromised hematology/oncology patient: an evidence-based guide Duncan C, Talano J and McArthur J (eds.) (2019) Critical care of the pediatric immunocompromised hematology/oncology patient: an evidence-based guide. Cham: Springer.
Graver B (2015) Septic shock: risk factors, management and prognosis, New York: Nova Science Publishers. Graver B (2015) Septic shock: risk factors, management and prognosis. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Moye, M (2012) Winning the fight against sepsis: what every nurse should know, Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing. Moye M (2012) Winning the fight against sepsis: what every nurse should know. Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing.
Ortiz-Ruiz G and DueƱas-Castell C (editors) (2017) Sepsis, New York: Springer. Ortiz-Ruiz G and Dueñas-Castell C (eds.) (2017) Sepsis. 3rd edn. New York: Springer.
Prowse A (2018) Three-and-a-half heartbeats, London: Head of Zeus in association with the UK Sepsis Trust. Prowse A (2018) Three-and-a-half heartbeats. London: Head of Zeus in association with the UK Sepsis Trust.
The UK Sepsis Trust (2019) The sepsis manual (5th edition), Birmingham: United Kingdom Sepsis Trust.
Sharland M (editor) Manual of childhood infections: the blue book (fourth edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sharland M (editor)(2015) Manual of childhood infections: the blue book. 4th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Strobel S, Spitz L and Marks S (editors) (2016) Great Ormond Street handbook of paediatrics (2nd edtion), Boca Raton: CRC Press. Strobel S, Spitz L and Marks S (eds) (2016) Great Ormond Street handbook of paediatrics. 2nd edn. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Ward N and Levy M (editors) (2017) Sepsis: definitions, pathophysiology and the challenge of bedside management, Cham: Humana Press. Ward N and Levy M (eds) (2017) Sepsis: definitions, pathophysiology and the challenge of bedside management. Cham: Humana Press.

Journal articles

Journals

Journals of interest for children and young people sepsis. Use these links to see details of availability.

Explore

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
RCN Congress debate: Sepsis (22nd May 2019)
  • Submitted by the RCN CYP Specialist Care Forum: this meeting of Congress discusses how we can further reduce avoidable harm and death from sepsis. This item was originally a Matter for Debate and was changed to a resolution. The resolution was passed.
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NHS Choices: Sepsis

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Page last updated - 03/09/2021