Pre-hospital lactate testing in the recognition and management of sepsis and septic shock

Sepsis a common condition, with a high mortality rate. Patients with this condition are routinely encountered by ambulance clinicians, but recognition of septic shock can be challenging. The pre-hospital phase of sepsis care provides the earliest opportunity for identification and treatment. Lactate measurement is a tool commonly used to stratify patient illness severity in sepsis, and is recommended as part of initial management in the acute hospital setting. A lack of evidence to inform the pre-hospital phase of care for patients with suspected sepsis prompted this pragmatic evaluation of point of care lactate measurement in an ambulance service. It is important to highlight that this study was carried out prior to the 2016 Sepsis-3 definitions and quickSOFA clinical criteria for recognising sepsis.

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