January 15, 2024

In this *shocking​* episode, we discuss identifying and managing sepsis and septic shock in the pediatric population. This episode features two of our 2nd year pediatric residents, Victoria and Kat. We are so excited to have them join us and teach us about this very common chief complaint, especially for patients getting admitted to the hospital.

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This episode was written by Drs. Victoria Tran, Katrina Marks, Tammy Yau, and Lidia Park, with content support from Dr. Moonjoo Han. Drs. Tammy and Lidia take full responsibility for any errors or misinformation.

Key points

  • Defining and differentiating SIRS, sepsis, and septic shock. Identifying the symptoms of sepsis is important for appropriate patient triage.  
  • SIRS comprises of constellation of symptoms. For SIRS criteria, 2 or more criteria must be met, which include hyper/hypothermia, leukocytosis/leukopenia, tachycardia/bradycardia, tachypnea. 
  • SIRS + infectious source = sepsis
  • Initial management of sepsis includes broad-spectrum antibiotics and fluid resuscitation with isotonic fluids (typically 10-20 cc/kg)


Weiss, Scott L. MD, MSCE, FCCM (Co-Vice Chair) et al. Surviving Sepsis Campaign International Guidelines for the Management of Septic Shock and Sepsis-Associated Organ Dysfunction in Children. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 21(2):p e52-e106, February 2020. | DOI: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000002198


Menon, Kusum et al. “A Prospective Multicenter Study of Adrenal Function in Critically Ill Children.” American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine: an official journal of the American Thoracic Society, medical section of the American Lung Association. 182.2 (2010): 246–251. Web.