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Sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to an infection causes it to attack its own tissues and organs. Sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure and death especially if not recognised early and treated quickly. Use this guide to find information resources about recognising and caring for adults with presumed sepsis including books, reports and journal articles.

Last updated: 13/07/2021

Key Resources

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2016) Sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management: NICE guidelines NG51. Updated 13 September 2017. London: NICE.
  • NICE guidance is officially England only
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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2019) Sepsis: clinical knowledge summary. Updated April 2020. London: NICE.
  • NICE guidance is officially England only.
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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2017) Sepsis: quality standard QS161. Updated 13 September 2017. London: NICE.
  • NICE guidance is officially England 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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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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The UK Sepsis Trust (2019) The sepsis manual (5th edition), Birmingham: United Kingdom Sepsis Trust.
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (2014) Care of the deteriorating patient: consensus recommendations 139, Edinburgh: SIGN.
Rhodes A, Evans L, Alhazzani W et al. (2017) Surviving sepsis campaign: international guidelines for management of sepsis and septic shock: 2016, Critical Care Medicine, 45(3), pp.486-552.
Dellinger R, Phillip M, Schorr C et al. (2017) A users’ guide to the 2016 surviving sepsis guidelines, Critical Care Medicine, 45(3), pp.381–385.
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.

Books

 Baid H, Creed F and Hargreaves J (editors) (2016) Oxford handbook of critical care nursing (2nd edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Baid H, Creed F and Hargreaves J (editors) (2016) Oxford handbook of critical care nursing (2nd edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Clarke D and Malecki-Ketchell A (editors) (2016) Nursing the acutely ill adult: priorities in assessment and management (2nd edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Clarke D and Malecki-Ketchell A (editors) (2016) Nursing the acutely ill adult: priorities in assessment and management (2nd edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mancini N (2015) Sepsis: diagnostic methods and protocols, New York: Humana. Mancini N (2015) Sepsis: diagnostic methods and protocols, New York: Humana.
Ortiz-Ruiz G and Dueñas-Castell C (editors) (2017) Sepsis, New York: Springer. Ortiz-Ruiz G and Dueñas-Castell C (editors) (2017) Sepsis, New York: Springer.
Parsons critical care secrets Parsons P and Wiener-Kronish J (eds.) (2018) Critical care secrets. 6th edn. Amsteram: Elsevier.
Peate I and Dutton H (2021) Acute nursing care: recognising and responding to medical emergencies. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge. Peate I and Dutton H (2021) Acute nursing care: recognising and responding to medical emergencies. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Chapter 12 covers the immune and lymphatic systems, infection and sepsis.
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Book cover Suh G J (ed.) (2018) Essentials of shock management: a scenario-based approach. Singapore: Springer.
Ward N and Levy M (editors) (2017) Sepsis: definitions, pathophysiology and the challenge of bedside management, Cham: Humana Press. Ward N and Levy M (editors) (2017) Sepsis: definitions, pathophysiology and the challenge of bedside management, Cham: Humana Press.
Wiersinga W J and Seymour C W (eds. ) (2018) Handbook of sepsis. Cham: Springer. Wiersinga W J and Seymour C W (eds. ) (2018) Handbook of sepsis. Cham: Springer.
Book cover Woodrow P (2018) Intensive care nursing: a framework for practice. 4th edn. London: Routledge.

Book subject searches

Use this link to see details of books the RCN libraries hold on this topic.

Journal articles

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

Journals

Journal cover Journals of interest for 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)
  • 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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RCN Congress Keynote speaker: Tom and Nic Ray (22nd May 2019)
  • Twenty years ago Tom Ray had a delayed diagnosis of sepsis which resulted in quadruple amputations.
    Watch Congress speech
  • RCN Bulletin article (June 2019)
    Article
NHS Choices: Sepsis

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Page last updated - 13/07/2021