Sepsis in a Panorama: What the Cardiovascular Physician Should Know

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6 Scopus citations


Sepsis accounts for an estimated 30 million cases and 6 million deaths globally each year. According to a multidisciplinary task force convened by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, sepsis is defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction due to a dysregulated host response to infection. Sepsis is a medical emergency, so much so that the World Health Organization made it a global health priority. Since patients with cardiovascular diseases have unique risk factors for sepsis, prompt and accurate diagnosis is critical. In this regard, the sepsis-specific Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) helps clinicians identify the organ dysfunction and predict outcomes. Sepsis management is grouped into specific interventions called bundles, and completion of each bundle element is time sensitive. The U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and some state-specific regulations have made compliance with these bundles reportable as a quality measure. The updated Surviving Sepsis Campaign Hour-1 bundle recommends that lactate measurement, blood cultures procurement, broad spectrum antibiotics administration, resuscitation with 30 mL/kg crystalloid, and vasopressor initiation for hypotension all be initiated within 1 hour of time zero, which is from the time of triage in the emergency department or from sepsis diagnosis. Septic shock is defined as hypotension with a mean arterial pressure less than 65 mm Hg, requiring vasopressors despite adequate fluid resuscitation and/or lactic acid levels above 2 mmol/L. Both fluid resuscitation and clinical re-evaluation with lactate measurement guide the fluid and vasopressor therapy. Specific guidelines exist for organ support that address mechanical ventilation, blood transfusions, vasopressor choices, and nutrition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalMethodist DeBakey cardiovascular journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • SOFA
  • lactate
  • qSOFA
  • sepsis
  • sepsis bundles
  • septic shock
  • vasopressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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