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AACN Advanced Critical Care:
Symposium: Sepsis

Incidence, Pathogenesis, and Management of Sepsis: An Overview

Kleinpell, Ruth M. PhD, RN-CS, FAAN, FCCM, ACNP, CCRN; Graves, Brian T. MS, RN, ACNP, APRN-BC; Ackerman, Michael H. DNS, RN, APRN-CS, FCCM, FNAP, FAANP

Section Editor(s): Ackerman, Michael H.

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Abstract

Sepsis is a complex condition that occurs as a result of the systemic manifestation of infection. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality risks for critically ill patients. Assessment and monitoring aimed at early recognition and treatment, on the basis of evidence-based guidelines, are advocated for optimizing outcomes for patients with severe sepsis. Awareness of the risk factors, clinical signs and symptoms, pathophysiology, and updates in the management of sepsis can enhance the nursing care for patients with severe sepsis to promote best practices for sepsis care in the intensive care unit. This article reviews the incidence and pathophysiology of sepsis, highlighting updates in treatment and implications for nursing care.

© 2006 American Association of Critical–Care Nurses

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