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Table 1 Diagnostic criteria for sepsis reproduced from the Society of Critical Care Medicine/European Society of Intensive Care Medicine/American College of Chest Physicians/American Thoracic Society/Surgical Infection Society (SCCM/ESICM/ACCP/ATS/SIS) International Sepsis Definitions Conference in 2001

From: Current knowledge and future directions of TLR and NOD signaling in sepsis

Infection (1) : Documented or suspected and some of the following (2)
General parameters Fever (core temperature >38.3°C)
Hypothermia (core temperature <36°C)
Heart rate >90 beats per minute or >2 SD above the normal value for age
Tachypnoea >30 breaths per minute
Altered mental state
Significant oedema or positive fluid balance (>20 ml/kg over 24 hrs)
Hyperglycaemia (plasma glucose >110 mg/dL or 7.7 mmol/L in the absence of diabetes
Inflammatory parameters Leukocytosis (white blood cell count >12,000/μL)
Leukopaenia (white blood cell count <4,000/μL)
Normal white blood cell count with >10% immature forms
Plasma C reactive protein >2 SD above the normal value
Plasma procalcitonin >2 SD above the normal value
Haemodynamic parameters Arterial hypotension(2) (systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg, mean arterial pressure <70 mmHg or a systolic blood pressure decrease >40 mmHg in adults or <2 SD below the normal value for age)
Mixed venous oxygen saturation >70%(2)
Cardiac index >3.5 L/min/m2(3,4)
Organ dysfunction parameters Arterial hypoxaemia (PaO2/FiO2 <300)
Acute oliguria (urine output <0.5 ml/kg/hr or 45 mmol/L for at least 2 hrs)
Creatinine increase ≥0.5 mg/dL
Coagulation abnormalities (international normalised ratio >1.5 or activated partial thromboplastin time >60 seconds)
Ileus (absent bowel sounds)
Thrombocytopenia (platelet count <100,000/μL)
Hyperbilirubinaemia (plasma total bilirubin >4 mg/dL or 70 mmol/L)
Tissue perfusion parameters Hyperlactatemia (>3 mmol/L)
Decreased capillary refill or mottling
  1. (1)Defined as a pathological process induced by microorganisms.
  2. (2)Values above 70% are normal in children and should therefore not be used as a sign of sepsis in newborns or children.
  3. (3)Values of 3.5-5.5 are normal in children and should therefore not be used as a sign of sepsis in newborns or children.
  4. (4)Diagnostic criteria for sepsis in the paediatric population is signs and symptoms of inflammation plus infection with hyper- or hypothermia rectal temperature >38.5°C or <35°C, tachycardia (may be absent in hypothermic patients) and at least one of the following indications of altered organ function, altered mental status, hypoxemia, elevated serum lactate levels, and bounding pulses.