Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: Sepsis—what’s behind the “hype”?

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6327 (Published 07 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6327
  1. David Oliver, consultant in geriatrics and acute general medicine
  1. Berkshire
  1. davidoliver372{at}googlemail.com
  2. Follow David on Twitter: @mancunianmedic

A letter was published in the Lancet last week, entitled “Sepsis hysteria: excess hype and unrealistic expectations.”1 It triggered lively Twitter exchanges under the hashtag #sepsishysteria.2 The ensuing discussion starkly exemplified some issues doctors now face when discussing contested, emotionally charged topics on social media.

What made the Lancet letter especially interesting was that the authors were recognised experts in sepsis deterioration and scores for identifying physiological decline. Mervyn Singer has been a key player in international consensus definitions of sepsis and an advocate for improving care3; Matt Inada-Kim is a national clinical adviser on sepsis and deterioration4; and Manu Shankar-Hari is a recognised sepsis researcher.5 This made their pause for critical thought all the more noteworthy and added to …

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