What is Sepsis?

Sepsis is defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection.

For clinical operationalization, organ dysfunction can be represented by an increase in the Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score of 2 points or more, which is associated with an in-hospital mortality greater than 10%. The SOFA score tool is mainly used in critical care areas.

In out-of-hospital, emergency department, or general hospital ward settings, adult patients with suspected infection can be rapidly identified as being more likely to have poor outcomes typical of sepsis if they have a NEWS of 5 or above (or 3 on an individual parameter) or if they have at least 2 of the following clinical criteria: respiratory rate of 22/min or greater, altered mentation, or systolic blood pressure of 100 mm Hg or less. There

The clinical criteria that characterises sepsis in children are:

      • Temperature less than 36oC  or greater than 38oC if under 3 months of age or greater than 38.5oC if over 3 months of age.
      • Paediatric early warning score (PEWS) of ≥ 3 using an age-appropriate PEWS chart.
      • Tachycardia.  A fast heart rate in the ‘red’ zone of an age-appropriate PEWS chart.
      • A child who looks unwell or about whom there is significant concern from the family, medical or nursing staff.

Septic shock is defined as a subset of sepsis in which particularly profound circulatory, cellular, and metabolic abnormalities are associated with a greater risk of mortality than with sepsis alone. 

Adult patients with septic shock can be clinically identified by a vasopressor requirement to maintain a mean arterial pressure of 65 mm Hg or greater and serum lactate level greater than 2 mmol/L (>18 mg/dL) in the absence of hypovolemia. This combination is associated with hospital mortality rates greater than 40%. 

In children, septic shock is characterised by cardiovascular instability due to sepsis that requires inotropic support and continuous  fluid resuscitation.

Who we are

Sepsis at South Tees Hospitals is an initiative part of the Acutely Ill Patient (Recognising Deterioration) Group.

It started back in 2010 with one of the first Sepsis Specialist Nurse in the country. 

 There are now 3 Sepsis nurses in the trust.

Jacqui Simpson (Jones) 

Jo Moham

Helen Overton

What we do

Our main roles are education and training on the recognition and management of sepsis, as part of the acutely ill patient, and the initiation and promotion of sepsis-related quality improvement projects across the trust. 

We regularly collect data for sepsis patients recognition and management for audit purposes and to facilitate the sepsis CQUIN targets across the trust.


How to find us

We are located on the first flow, near general intensive care in the critical care outreach office.

You can get in touch with us on extension 58506

or by emailing the generic sepsis team email:


or on our emails:




Upcoming Sepsis Training

  • Coming soon

Upcoming Sepsis Meetings

  • Coming soon


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