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Recommendations aimed at redefining the definitions of sepsis and septic shock and enhancing their diagnoses
January 22, 2024
The SCCM Pediatric Sepsis Definition Task Force developed new criteria for defining sepsis and septic shock in children based on evidence from an international survey, a systematic review and meta-analysis, and a new organ dysfunction score developed based on more than 3 million electronic health record encounters from 10 sites on 4 continents. This new scoring matrix is known as the Phoenix Sepsis Score.
Based on survey data, most pediatric clinicians used the term “sepsis” to refer to infection with life-threatening organ dysfunction. This differs from prior pediatric sepsis criteria that used systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria, which have poor predictive properties. The SCCM task force recommends that sepsis in children be identified by a Phoenix Sepsis Score of at least 2 points in children with suspected infection, which indicates potentially life-threatening dysfunction of the respiratory, cardiovascular, coagulation, and/or neurologic systems.
Read the New Criteria
Development and Validation of the Phoenix Criteria for Pediatric Sepsis and Septic Shock
The SCCM Pediatric Sepsis Definitions Task Force included representatives from the following organizations who served as members of the task force: