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In progress

Summary

Infections and sepsis account for approximately 25 per cent and 12 per cent respectively of all paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admissions in Australia and for one in four deaths in PICU. (1) More than 50 per cent of paediatric deaths due to sepsis occur within 24 hours. (1)

The World Health Organization recognises sepsis as a global priority, and the Australian Sepsis Network (ASN) recommends  improved awareness and recognition of sepsis as a top priority. (2)

Early recognition of children with sepsis is challenging for clinicians, as the early clinical features of sepsis in children are similar to a mild viral infection.(2)  Fever is a common presenting complaint for children to the emergency department, yet the majority are discharged home with no antibiotics. Differentiating the few children with early sepsis from the many children with mild viral infection is challenging.

This project aims to improve the timely recognition and escalation of care for children with suspected or actual sepsis.  We hypothesise that raised parental awareness and involvement in the recognition of the deteriorating child will facilitate timely access to care.

Participating health services will work together to develop and test a change package to enhance care and improve clinical outcomes for children with sepsis.

Target

Improved recognition and escalation of care for children with suspected or actual sepsis.

Update

June 2021 - We have established an expert advisory group to guide and govern the delivery of this project. We are now recruiting health services to pilot initiatives to improve the timely recognition and escalation of care for children with sepsis in emergency departments.

(1)  Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Intensive Care Registry
(2) The George Institute for Global Health and the Australian Sepsis Network, 2017 Stopping Sepsis: A National Action Plan. A health policy report December 2017 

Page last updated: 21 Jun 2021

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