Sepsis Guidelines and Protocols: Providing Care to Patients

Page reviewed and updated: August 2023

The diagnosis of sepsis is one of the most challenging. Sepsis affects millions of people worldwide and one in four of the people affected will die. The way we recognize and treat sepsis has changed over the years; the most recent update being the Surviving Sepsis Campaign: International Guidelines for Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock 2021. The guidelines emphasize that patients with sepsis should be viewed as having a medical emergency, necessitating urgent assessment and treatment. The resources in this collection focus on sepsis identification and goal-directed treatment according to current guidelines and definitions. Use these resources to improve the way you provide care to patients with sepsis.


Listen is as Megan Doble, DNP, FNP-C, AGACNP-C, reviews the basics of sepsis and the latest recommendations on managing patients with sepsis. 

From the Desk of the Chief Nurse

BLOG Let’s Change the Trajectory of Sepsis 
The story is too common – a person feels unwell and after a few days ends up going to their primary care provider or an urgent care center. They are evaluated, sent home, and several days later end up back in the office and evaluated again. This cycle continues until eventually the person’s health deteriorates to the point of crisis and they end up in the emergency department (ED). Once they arrive in the ED, they’re found to have sepsis and admitted. In many cases, they arrive profoundly hypotensive and are admitted to the intensive care unit with septic shock. Keep reading...

Guideline Summaries

Sepsis Articles & Resources

BLOG Laboratory signs of sepsis [Infographic]
Lippincott® NursingCenter®, March 2024

BLOG Improving Hospital Sepsis Programs
Lippincott® NursingCenter®, September 2023

POCKET CARD Recognizing and Managing Sepsis
Lippincott® NursingCenter®, February 2024

Sepsis Risk Is Yet Another Reason to Avoid Long-Term Opioid Use
Topics in Pain Management, May 2023

Quality Improvement to Promote Sepsis Reassessment: The Sepsis Reassessment Protocol Improvement Project (SRPIP)
Journal of Nursing Care Quality, April/June 2023

REadmission PREvention in SepSis: Development and Validation of a Prediction Model
Journal for Healthcare Quality, May/June 2022

BLOG The 4 Components of Source Control in Sepsis
Lippincott® NursingCenter®, February 2022

Development of a Novel Assessment Tool and Code Sepsis Checklist for Neonatal Late-Onset Sepsis
Advances in Neonatal Care, February 2022

Emergency Department Initiative to Improve Sepsis Core Measure Compliance: A Hospital Network Approach
Critical Care Nursing Quarterly, January/March 2022

A Quality Improvement Initiative to Evaluate the Effectiveness of the ABCDEF Bundle on Sepsis Outcomes
Critical Care Nursing Quarterly, January/March 2022

Greater Compliance With Early Sepsis Management is Associated With Safer Care and Shorter Hospital Stay
Journal for Healthcare Quality, November/December 2021

Improving Antibiotic Administration Rate for Patients With Sepsis in the Emergency Department
Journal of Nursing Care Quality, October/December 2021

Surviving Sepsis 2021: How does it differ from 2016?
Lippincott® NursingCenter®, October 2021

Nurses' Knowledge on Sepsis Related to Mechanical Ventilation: An Intervention Study
The Journal of Nursing Research, August 2021