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Sepsis Update: Early Identification and Management

Part of AACN Critical Care Webinar Series

Presenter(s): Tom S. Ahrens, RN, PhD, FAAN

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Webinar Summary

This program will explore recent improvements in the understanding and treatment of sepsis, with an emphasis on early identification, evidence-based interventions, and implementation of protocols within the hospital ― from the ED to the floor to the ICU. The presentation includes updates from the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, as well as recent studies addressing the management of severe sepsis.


  • Define sepsis and describe its epidemiology.
  • Describe the role of the nurse in the identification and assessment of the patient in severe sepsis.
  • Identify the evidence-based interventions for managing patients with severe sepsis.

About the Presenter

Tom S. Ahrens, RN, PhD, FAAN

Tom S. Ahrens, RN, PhD, FAAN

A research scientist at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Dr. Thomas Ahrens has published extensively, authoring five books and more than 50 papers. Dr. Ahrens’ funded research includes oximetry analysis, effect of kinetic therapy on pulmonary complications, sedation on mechanical ventilation, stroke volume optimization and capnography in heart failure. His professional endeavors include developing clinical education for nursing, respiratory therapy and physician websites. A strong advocate for hospitalized families, he designs communication programs that aid clinicians in discussions with families, ultimately improving patient outcomes and cost control. A former AACN representative to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, Dr. Ahrens is a recipient of AACN’s “Flame of Excellence” award, as well as the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Presidential Citation.

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.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation. ANCC Provider Number 0012 (60 min contact hour). AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing California Provider number CEP01036 contact hours (50 min contact hour).

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.