Early management of sepsis with emphasis on early goal directed therapy: AME evidence series 002
Severe sepsis and septic shock are major causes of morbidity and mortality in patients entering the emergency department (ED) or intensive care unit (ICU). Despite substantial efforts to improve patient outcome, treatment of sepsis remains challenging to clinicians. In this context, early goal directed therapy (EGDT) represents an important concept emphasizing both early recognition of sepsis and prompt initiation of a structured treatment algorithm. As part of the AME evidence series on sepsis, we conducted a systematic review of all randomized controlled EGDT trials. Focus was laid on the setting (emergency department versus ICU) where EGDT was carried out. Early recognition of sepsis, through clinical or automated systems for early alert, together with well-timed initiation of the recommended therapy bundles may improve patients’ outcome. However, the original “EGDT” protocol by Rivers and coworkers has been largely modified in subsequent trials. Currently, many investigators opt for an “expanded” EGDT (as suggested by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign). Evidence is also presented on the effectiveness of automated systems for early sepsis alert. Early recognition of sepsis and well-timed initiation of the SSC bundle may improve patient outcome.