Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock

R. Phillip Dellinger, Jean M. Carlet, Henry Masur, Herwig Gerlach, Thierry Calandra, Jonathan Cohen, Juan Gea-Banacloche, Didier Keh, John C. Marshall, Margaret M. Parker, Graham Ramsay, Janice L. Zimmerman, Jean Louis Vincent, M. M. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

738 Scopus citations


Objective: To develop management guidelines for severe sepsis and septic shock that would be of practical use for the bedside clinician, under the auspices of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, an international effort to increase awareness and improve outcome in severe sepsis. Design: The process included a modified Delphi method, a consensus conference, several subsequent smaller meetings of subgroups and key individuals, teleconferences, and electronic-based discussion among subgroups and among the entire committee. The modified Delphi methodology used for grading recommendations built upon a 2001 publication sponsored by the International Sepsis Forum. We undertook a systematic review of the literature graded along 5 levels to create recommendation grades from A-E, with A being the highest grade. Pediatric considerations were provided to contrast adult and pediatric management. Participants: Participants included 44 critical care and infectious disease experts representing 11 international organizations. Results: A total of 46 recommendations plus pediatric management considerations. Conclusions: Evidence-based recommendations can be made regarding many aspects of the acute management of sepsis and septic shock that will hopefully translate into improved outcomes for the critically ill patient. The impact of these guidelines will be formally tested and guidelines updated annually, and even more rapidly when some important new knowledge becomes available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-555
Number of pages20
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Guidelines
  • Infection
  • Sepsis
  • Sepsis syndrome
  • Septic shock
  • Severe sepsis
  • Surviving sepsis campaign

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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