BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

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In February 2016, the Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3) were published in JAMA. The Sepsis-3 task force redefined the definitions of sepsis and septic shock (removing severe sepsis from the definitions) – see table below. The purpose of this work was to improve the clarity of the definitions not only for clinical care of patients but also for epidemiology, quality improvement and research.

New Definition

Sepsis (replacing severe sepsis) Life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection.
Septic Shock A subset of sepsis in which particularly profound circulatory, cellular, and metabolic abnormalities are associated with a greater risk of mortality than with sepsis alone.

In April 2016, the BCPSQC prepared a special communication on the consensus definitions for sepsis and septic shock to assist clinicians in understanding some of the key changes. For more information and to understand how the new definitions pertain to our work in BC, read the BC Sepsis Network Special Communication in the Toolbox below.


jsc160002 Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3)
SepsisLetter BC Sepsis Network Special Communication on the Sepsis-3 Definitions

Up next: Getting started 

At a Glance

Download the  BC Inpatient Sepsis Toolkit: Speed is Life.

Follow the BC Sepsis Network on Twitter (@bcsepsis) and join the conversation by including the #sepsis hashtag in your tweets.