Last modified by Lisa Stromquist on 2018/03/14 19:37

The goal of the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) Sepsis Community of Practice (CoP) is to implement national standards for screening, recognition and treatment of sepsis in the neonatal and paediatric population.  


Sepsis, also known as septicaemia, is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs.  In children the signs and symptoms of sepsis can present quickly and can rapidly deteriorate.

In Canada sepsis claims an estimated 9,320 lives every year, representing 10.9% of all deaths occurring in hospitals.  Sepsis is associated with extended hospital stays and considerable health care resource use.    Patients whose sepsis occurred after they were admitted to hospital had 56% higher odds of dying than those diagnosed on admission.  A typical episode of sepsis in Canada results in an average of 9 days longer than the median length of stay for other hospitalizations and 45% of all sepsis patients admitted to ICU in Canada died.  More than 10% of sepsis hospitalizations are for children 4 years of age and under.  The rapid delivery of basic interventions – first-hour antibiotics and intravenous fluids – increases survival rates by up to 50%, and is recognized as international best practice. Unfortunately not enough patients receive these interventions.

Because sepsis is not discipline specific, no one “owns” it.  This leads to inadequate documentation as a diagnosis or cause of death.  This also means there is not specific follow up for patients who have suffered from sepsis even though the long term effects can be serious, including neurodevelopmental impairments. 

Download the CAPHC Paediatric Sepsis Screening Tool

View our Sepsis Community of Practice Poster

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Created by Ann Watkins on 2016/03/31 18:12