Nice | Detection and management of sepsis

4th August 2016 by Louise Hudman

Nice | Detection and management of sepsis

This is a new guideline from NICE on the detection and management of sepsis. None of this is likely to be new, but it is worth looking through. I think the main reason is, sadly, from a medico-legal point of view. I guess if we have not documented obs that have been clearly laid out, or ignored listed high-risk features, we will be at higher medico-legal risk. The good news is that there are quite easy to follow guidelines on what to do and what constitutes high- and medium-risk. Maybe worth printing out…

What assessment to carry out in patients with suspected sepsis:

  • Temperature
  • Heart Rate
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Level of consciousness
  • Oxygen saturation (young people and adults)
  • Capillary Refill (children under 12)
  • Appearance (eg skin mottling / lip colour etc)
  • Amount of urine passed in last 18 hrs
  • Blood Pressure
    • In all over 12s.
    • 5 to 11-year-olds with suspected sepsis, if you have an appropriately sized cuff available and if its measurement doesn’t cause a delay in assessment or treatment.
    • Under 5s if heart rate or capillary refill is abnormal.

High, moderate and low-risk features to watch out for:

There are too many to document here. NICE have created handy single page tables with the features. Maybe worth printing out and referring to if needed…

Information about specific features


Do not use fever alone, or its absence to rule out or rule in sepsis.

Read more

No credit card details needed – it takes two minutes.

Join free trial


Already a member? Login to view this content.


"LocumDeck has been a very useful platform for me as I have only started being a GP locum from March this year. The transition from salaried GP to GP locum was smooth for me due to LocumDeck. It has been a very useful platform for me to get bookings and also to keep on top of the administrative side including invoices. It is very easy to manage my availability and terms and conditions which otherwise would be a difficult matter for a GP locum to go through during each booking. I also have used the FAQ section for help with pensions and other issues with GP locum work and have found this very useful. "

Dr Athira Vijay, GP locum, Chelmsford

See the full list of features within our NASGP membership plans