Research and Activities

If you have any questions about the Pediatric Sepsis Program, please contact us by phone at 215-590-5505 or via our online contact form.

Clinical pathways

Active quality improvement projects, research, and activities

Title: Organ Dysfunction Based Outcomes in a Hospital-wide Sepsis Quality Improvement Program
Project lead: Julie Fitzgerald, MD, PhD; Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD, MSCE; Scott Weiss, MD, MSCE; Christian Minnich and others

Title: Racial Disparities in Sepsis Recognition
Project lead: Jenny Raman, Tiffani Johnson, Lena Winestone, MD; Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD, MSCE

Title: Sepsis Alert Performance in Children with High-risk Conditions
Project lead: Sarah Fesnak, Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD, MSCE

Title: Improving ED Sepsis Alert/Huddle Process
Project lead: Ellie Souganidis, Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD, MSCE

Title: Sepsis Screening in Hospitalized Pediatric Patients
Project lead: Ms. Sharon Kaminski, Scott Weiss, MD, MSCE
Funding: CHOP OCQI
Objective: To develop and implement a highly sensitive and reasonably specific electronic health record based alert to guide clinicians in the early recognition of sepsis for hospitalized patients

Title: Sepsis Registry and Adjudication
Project lead: Julie Fitzgerald, MD, PhD
Funding: CHOP Department of Pediatrics Chair’s Initiative
Objective: To review and confirm the diagnosis of sepsis in cases identified by sepsis screening to ensure appropriate cases are identified and quality metrics are tracking in patients with true sepsis.

Title: Long-term Follow-up of Pediatric Sepsis Survivors
Project lead: Scott Weiss, MD, MSCE
Funding: CHOP Department of Pediatrics Chair’s Initiative
Objective: To develop a process or clinic dedicated to assess long-term morbidity in pediatric sepsis survivors

Title: Sepsis Screening in a Community Pediatric Emergency Department
Project lead: Ronald Marchese, MD; Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD, MSCE
Funding: CHOP Department of Pediatrics Chair’s Initiative
Objective: To translate the CHOP ED sepsis screen to a community site

Title: Sepsis Screening in the Pediatric Emergency Department
Principal investigator: Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD, MSCE
Co-investigator: Ellie Souganidis, MD
Funding: CHOP Division of Emergency Medicine
Objective: Developed and implemented a vital sign based screen for sepsis in the Emergency Department which decreased missed sepsis cases by 76 percent. We are currently working to further refine the alert by evaluating cases missed under the screening system.

Title: Racial Disparities in Sepsis Screening and Treatment in the Emergency Department
Principal investigator: Ms. Jenny Raman, Tiffani Johnson MD, MS; Lena Winestone, MD; Fran Balamuth MD, PhD, MSCE
Funding: CHOP
Objective: To evaluate racial disparities in sepsis alert performance as well as sepsis care in the Emergency Department

Basic/translational scientific research

Title: Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Pediatric Sepsis
Principal investigator: Scott L. Weiss, MD, MSCE
Funding: NIH
Objective: Test noninvasive measures of mitochondrial dysfunction using circulating mononuclear blood cells and plasma to identify subsets of children with sepsis and organ failure who could be targeted for mitochondrial-based therapies

Title: Role of the Intestinal Microbiome in Mitochondrial-induced Immune Dysregulation in Pediatric Sepsis
Principal Investigator: Scott L. Weiss, MD, MSCE
Funding: Society of Critical Care Medicine
Objective: Test the overall hypothesis that sepsis impacts mitochondrial-induced immune dysregulation via alterations in short-chain fatty acids derived from an abnormal intestinal microbiome

Title: PRoMPT BOLUS
Principal Investigator: Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD, MSCE; Scott L. Weiss, MD, MSCE
Funding: NIH/CHOP
Objective: Pragmatic randomized clinical trial to test the comparative effectiveness of different crystalloid fluids for resuscitation of pediatric septic shock

Title: RNA Expression Profiling and Pediatric Sepsis Recognition
Principal investigator: Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD, MSCE
Funding: NIH
Objective: To determine the association between peripheral blood RNA expression profiles at sepsis diagnosis and both organ dysfunction at hospital day 2 and source pathogen

Title: Mitochondrial Dysfunction in EBV-Transformed Lymphoblasts and Induced Pluripotent-derived human Stem Cells (iPSCs) in Pediatric Sepsis
Principal investigatorScott L. Weiss, MD, MSCE
Funding: NIH
Objective: To model the mitochondrial-targeted effects of sepsis on immune or organ cells

Title: Biomarkers of Endothelial Dysfunction in Critically Ill Children with Sepsis and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Principal investigatorJane Whitney, MD
Funding: CHOP
Objective: To determine if biomarkers linked to endothelial dysfunction are associated with development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in children with sepsis

Clinical research

Title: CMV Reactivation in Pediatric Sepsis    
Principal investigator: MoonJoo Han, MD
Funding: CHOP Foerderer Award for Excellence in Research
Objective: To determine the cumulative incidence and clinical significance of CMV viremia and CMV reactivation in pediatric severe sepsis

Title: Urine Biomarkers to Detect and Predict Acute Kidney Injury in Pediatric Septic Shock  
Principal investigator: Julie Fitzgerald, MD, PhD, MSCE  
Funding: CHOP Division of Critical Care Medicine
Objective: To identify urine biomarkers that can be measured noninvasively and are sensitive and specific for predicting acute kidney injury in children with septic shock

Title: Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock in Immunocompromised Children: Risk Factors for PICU Mortality   
Principal Investigator: Julie Fitzgerald, MD, PhD, MSCE; Robert B. Lindell, MD  
Funding: CHOP Division of Critical Care Medicine
Objective: To identify risk factors for PICU mortality in immunocompromised children with severe sepsis or septic shock using a nation multicenter PICU database

Title: Clinical prediction modeling for organ dysfunction in suspected pediatric sepsis
Principal investigator: Fran Balamuth MD, PhD, MSCE; Hanna Gu, MD
Funding: CHOP
Objective: To use machine learning methods to identify clinical and laboratory predictors of organ dysfunction in the first three hospital days for children presenting to the ED with suspected sepsis

Research publications and Scientific presentations

Physicians and researchers from the Pediatric Sepsis Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are regular contributors to clinical publications and frequent speakers at national conferences. Find some of their publications and presentations.