Guideline on Sepsis Recognition, Diagnosis and Early Management (NICE / BBC News / RCEM)


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently published “Sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management – guidance” (NG51). This presents recommendations on the identification and assessment people with suspected sepsis; risk factors and risk stratification; and the management of suspected sepsis in acute hospitals and out of hospital. There are different algorithms, organised by four different age groups, and by treatment location (acute hospitals or community).

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Sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management: guidance [NG51]. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, July 13th 2016.

There is an associated “map of medicine” style NICE Pathways online version.

There is also a much longer version of the guidelines available:

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National Guideline Centre UK (2016). Sepsis: Recognition, Assessment and Early Management. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK); July 2016.

Possibly of interest:

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Gallagher, J. (2017). The biggest killer you’ve never heard of. London: BBC Health News, March 10th 2017.

RCEM’s National Audit

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s audit of 13,129 adults at 196 emergency departments indicates that 44% of patients with sepsis receive antibiotics within one hour of arrival. The RCEM makes recommendations to sepsis leads for continuing improvement.

Full Text Link


Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock – National Clinical Audit 2016/17. London: Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), May 2017.

August 2018 Update

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Bloch-Budzier, S. (2018). Hospital sepsis deaths ‘jump by a third’. London: BBC Health News, Aug 3rd 2018.

Rapid Test for Earlier Sepsis Diagnosis, from University of Strathclyde

An estimated 52,000 people die every year in the UK from sepsis. Earlier diagnosis and treatment could save around 14,000 lives a year across the UK according to the UK Sepsis Trust:

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Sepsis test could show results ‘in minutes’. London: BBC Health News, February 20th 2019.

July 2019 Update

Possibly quarter of patients in England do not receive an antibiotic drip within one hour when sepsis is suspected, despite recommendations:

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Triggle, N. (2019). Sepsis: How good are hospitals at treating ‘hidden killer’? London: BBC Health News, July 4th 2019.

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, Community Care, Diagnosis, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), Management of Condition, NICE Guidelines, Standards, UK and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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