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Complexity theory, Evidence-based practice, Sepsis, Septic shock



  1. Mann-Salinas, LTC Elizabeth A. PhD, RN
  2. Engebretson, Joan DrPH, RN
  3. Batchinsky, Andriy I. MD


Sepsis is a complicated syndrome that manifests within the complex adaptive system that is the human body. Complexity theory and the recently emerged applied complexity science illustrate these phenomena and the body's response in light of understanding these complex systems. Provision of careful observation by the nurse may recognize signs of moving into a nonadaptive or declining status, facilitating detection before complete sepsis or chaos. Systems or tools that aid the bedside nurse in prompt identification of sepsis and facilitate standardized evidence-based interventions are proving to be a valuable means in the care of the septic patient.