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Sepsis has been defined in adults and children in terms of changes in vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature) and white cell count in the context of infection (Table 106-1). The systemic inflammatory response syndrome previously described the same response in the absence of confirmed infection (eg, after trauma or major surgery). Over the past decade, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign has made important efforts to develop consensus statements defining sepsis, sepsis syndrome, septic shock, and the SIRS in adults. The first set of guidelines were introduced in 2008 and were updated in 2012 and again in 2016 (Sepsis-3). These consensus statements included updated definitions for sepsis, sepsis syndrome, septic shock, and the systemic inflammatory response syndrome, as well as evidence-based guidelines and algorithms for the management of these conditions in adults. In this framework, sepsis is described as “a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection.” Although new consensus definitions have not yet been developed for the pediatric population, this description can be applied to patients of all ages.

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Table 106-1abCurrent Definitions of Sepsis and Septic Shock for Children and Adults

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