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Pharmacological Management of Pediatric Patients with Sepsis

Author(s): Marroyln L. Simmons, PharmD, MS, BCPS, Spencer H. Durham, PharmD, BCPS, Chenita W. Carter, PharmD

Contact Hours: 1.00

CERP A: 1.00

Pharmacology Hours: 1.00

Expires Dec 01, 2016

Topics: Pharmacology, Sepsis

Population: Pediatric

Role: APRN

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

With an overall mortality rate of 4.2%, sepsis is one of the most common causes of death in children worldwide. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign outlines rapid initiation of volume resuscitation with crystalloids and timely administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics as the backbone of sepsis treatment. Initial antibiotics should be broad enough to cover the most likely pathogens, but antibiotic therapy should be de-escalated when culture results become available. Therapy with a vasopressor and/or an inotrope is often necessary in patients with sepsis to improve blood pressure and cardiac output. Adjunctive therapy with hydrocortisone is sometimes beneficial in the setting of catecholamine resistance and/or adrenal insufficiency. Insulin may also be needed in some patients for the treatment of hyperglycemia. Current guidelines have improved the treatment of sepsis, but more research is needed. This article reviews sepsis pathophysiology, treatment, and supportive care specifically as they relate to pediatric patients.


  • Describe the pathophysiology of sepsis.
  • Identify potential etiologies of sepsis in pediatric patients.
  • Discuss therapeutic modalities used in the treatment of sepsis.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


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