, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 503-511

Pediatric Sepsis: Preparing for the Future Against a Global Scourge

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Abstract

Sepsis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children worldwide. As consensus statements emerge regarding early recognition and goal-directed management of sepsis, scrutiny should be given to the unique characteristics of sepsis in children. Pediatric patients are not small adults! Sepsis epidemiology, pathophysiology, and management strategy can vary significantly from those for adults. Herein, we describe the epidemiology of pediatric sepsis, in both resource-rich and resource-poor worlds, and discuss how the pathophysiology of pediatric sepsis differs from that for adults. We discuss the timeline of management of pediatric sepsis, studying how discoveries over the past 50 years have changed the way sepsis is treated. Finally, we discuss the future of pediatric sepsis. We focus on approaches that carry the most substantive impact on the global burden of disease.