Intended for healthcare professionals


Signs of sepsis in children . . . and other stories

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 27 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3975

Diagnosing sepsis in children

Most diagnostic aids for sepsis focus on clinical features that suggest that sepsis is present. A Delphi study in Archive of Diseases in Childhood took the opposite approach, asking experienced clinicians who routinely assessed ill children about features that ruled it out (Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2017-314339). The answers, at least in retrospect, seem rather obvious. Most agreed that, if a child was talking, playing, smiling, eating, or interacting with others, sepsis was unlikely. There was no agreement, however, on how reassuring it was to see a child using an electronic device.

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