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Management of septic shock in the critically ill 

Management of septic shock in the critically ill
Management of septic shock in the critically ill

Sandra L. Peake

and Matthew J. Maiden

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date: 27 February 2020

The management of septic shock is a medical emergency. Following prompt recognition, treatment priorities are haemodynamic resuscitation, empirical antimicrobials, urgent control of the source of infection and monitoring the response to therapy. Haemodynamic resuscitation is focused on maintaining an adequate macrocirculation, while also ensuring adequacy of microcirculatory blood flow to the cells. Intravenous fluids and catecholamines have been the mainstay of therapy. However, the amount and type of fluids, choice of vasoactive medications, and the appropriate resuscitation endpoints have been questioned. Greater awareness of the importance of resuscitating the microcirculation and cell function have led to endpoints such as venous O2 saturation and changes in lactate levels becoming resuscitation targets. Urgent definitive treatment of the infection is also crucial. This requires prompt broad-spectrum empirical antimicrobial therapy, draining infected collections and removing infected medical devices. Despite extensive research, no new therapies have improved survival from septic shock.

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