Recognizing Pediatric Septic Shock: Treatment Guidelines | EB Medicine
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Septic Shock: Recognizing And Managing This Life-Threatening Condition In Pediatric Patients

April 2015

Abstract

Septic shock is a relatively rare but life-threatening condition in pediatric patients that can often be difficult to recognize in the emergency department. Once recognized, the emphasis of therapy is to reverse deficits in cellular respiration by increasing oxygen and other substrate delivery to tissue beds. Providing oxygen, improving tissue perfusion through augmentation of cardiac output, and administering antibiotics in a timely manner have all been shown to significantly improve outcomes in children with septic shock. Goal-directed therapy is relatively straightforward, emphasizes the need for effective surveillance and timely recognition of this disease process, and has the potential to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality. This review discusses how to identify specific populations at the greatest risk for septic shock, lays out the essential components of goal-directed therapy, examines potential pitfalls in management, and distinguishes additional ways that emergency clinicians can avoid the devastating consequences of septic shock in pediatric patients.
 

Keywords: emergency medicine CME, shock, septic shock, sepsis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, SIRS, Surviving Sepsis Campaign, hypovolemic shock, distributive shock, cardiogenic shock, obstructive shock, endocrinologic shock, adrenal insufficiency, respiratory support, fluid resuscitation, antibiotics, rapid sequence intubation, RSI, ketamine, etomidate, atropine, vascular access, dopamine, epinephrine, milrinone, norepinephrine, vasopressin

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