Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Urgent Care, Emergency Medicine


Bernard Tonery Jr., DMSc, PA-C


This article aims to examine the use of automated pediatric sepsis warning tools in the emergency department and identify avenues for future application in outpatient and community settings. A literature search using PubMed, Google Scholar, and the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and Sepsis Alliance websites was conducted. Search terms included “pediatric sepsis,” “pediatric early warning systems,” “emergency department,” and “recognition of early sepsis.” Fourteen pertinent articles and websites were used to serve as the basis for this article. A lack of evidence-based research demonstrating consistent results with the use of trigger tools and pediatric early warning tools in emergency departments and emergency care settings remains. Many automated screening tools and electronic algorithms exist to help establish an early diagnosis of pediatric sepsis in specific emergency care settings. However, despite a significant push to adopt such tools, evidence-based information on efficacy to support wider use is lacking, and the benefits are inconsistent across institutions. The success of automated trigger tools for pediatric sepsis warning tools appears relative to organizational factors. Future research is needed to identify features of clinical settings that lead to improved recognition, treatment, and outcomes of pediatric severe sepsis patients.


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