Reducing Time to Antibiotics for Children with Sepsis

Published on in CHOP News

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Why is this important?

Sepsis is a leading cause of death in children. In patients who survive, significant injury may occur to major organs such as the heart and lungs. Over the last decade, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign has reviewed evidence and has provided guidelines for care. These include rapid recognition and treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock, including administration of empiric antibiotics within one hour of sepsis recognition when possible, rapid fluid resuscitation, and early ionotropic support. Rapid treatment is associated with lower morbidity and mortality in adults. Data from children show trends in improved outcomes with rapid recognition and treatment.

What we did

Pediatricians, Emergency Department (ED) and Critical Care physicians, advanced practitioners and nurses from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) implemented the severe sepsis pathways using sepsis order sets that provided guidance at the point of care, and included an expedited pharmacy process. The team provided education and data to the teams for feedback.


Percent of Patients with Suspected Sepsis that receive Antibiotics within 60 Minutes of Recognition

The percentage of patients that receive antibiotics within 60 minutes has almost doubled (42 percent to 79 percent).

Graph: Percent received timely antibiotics

Percent of Patients with Severe Sepsis/Septic Shock with New Organ Dysfunction within 3 Days

Organ dysfunction has decreased by 10 percent since implementation of the sepsis pathways.

Graph: Percentage with new organ disfunction

Updated May, 2020