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Current management of sepsis and septic shock


1Department of Intensive Care, Erasme University Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

DOI: 10.22514/SV112.062016.1 Vol.11,Issue S2,June 2016 pp.14-16

Published: 14 June 2016

*Corresponding Author(s): JEAN-LOUIS VINCENT E-mail:


Sepsis remains a leading cause of death in the intensive care unit. With no specific sepsis therapies available, management currently relies on infection control and hemodynamic stabilization. Rapid diag-nosis enabling early initiation of appropri-ate therapy is essential to maximize sur-vival rates. Effective antimicrobial therapy should be started as soon as possible after diagnosis, with empirical choices based on likely pathogens, local microbiologi-cal patterns, and any recent antimicrobial therapy. At the same time, fluids and va-sopressor agents should be commenced to restore and maintain hemodynamic stability and adequate tissue perfusion. No effective immunomodulatory therapies are available, but some candidates are un-dergoing clinical trials. Better techniques for characterization of the degree of sepsis response in individual patients are needed to help target such agents more appropri-ately as some patients may benefit from immunosuppressive agents while others may require an immune stimulating in-tervention. The management of patients with septic shock is often complex and the development of sepsis teams should be encouraged so that the multiple compo-nents of treatment, e.g., insertion of intra-vascular lines, blood sampling for culture and biochemistry, positioning of required monitoring devices, fluid, antibiotic and vasoactive drug administration, etc, can be carried out simultaneously.  


infection, fluid resuscitation, immunomodulation, organ dysfunction, sepsis team, vasopressors

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JEAN-LOUIS VINCENT. Current management of sepsis and septic shock. Signa Vitae. 2016. 11(S2);14-16.


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