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Background: The purpose of developing ‘Sepsis Guidelines for Pakistan’ (SGP) is to provide clinicians practicing in local hospitals with a framework to aid timely recognition and management of adult patients in sepsis by adopting evidence-based recommendations of Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) tailored to available resources. These recommendations are not meant to replace the SSC Guidelines.
Methodology: SGP is an initiative of Pakistan Society of Critical Care Medicine (PSCCM). Four key decision points to be addressed in the guidelines were identified by a thirteen member multidisciplinary committee i.e., grading the hospitals in the country, recognition of sepsis and associated organ dysfunction, essential interventions to manage sepsis, and general measures for provision of a comprehensive care to patients in sepsis according to the level of education and training of healthcare providers and facilities and resources available in different levels of hospitals. The draft was presented at the 3rd Sepsis Symposium held on 13th September, 2014 in Karachi. The final document was approved by a panel of experts from across the country, representatives of relevant societies and Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA).
Recommendations: Hospitals are divided into basic, intermediate and tertiary depending on the availability of diagnostic facilities and training of the medical personnel. Modified definitions of sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock are used given the lack of facilities to diagnose sepsis according to international definitionsand criteria in Pakistan. Essential interventions include fluid resuscitation, vasopressors to support the circulation, maintaining oxygen saturation ≥ 90% with oxygen, non-invasive ventilation or mechanical ventilation with lung protective strategies, prompt administration of antibiotics as recommended by the Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Society of Pakistan (MMIDSP) and early source control. It is recommended to avoid starvation, keep an upper blood glucose ≤180 mg/dL, use daily pharmacoprophylaxis against venous thromboembolism (VTE), use stress ulcer prophylaxis, target haemoglobin of 7-9 g/dl in the absence of ischaemic heart disease, avoid sodium bicarbonate therapy as long as pH > 7.20, avoid fresh frozen plasma in the absence of bleeding, transfuse platelets if indicated, not use intravenous immunoglobulins and avoid neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) in the absence of ARDS, target specific titration endpoints when continuous or intermittent sedation is required in mechanically ventilated patients and use continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) to facilitate management of fluid balance in hemodynamically unstable septic patients in tertiary care centers. In addition a comprehensive, meticulous and multidisciplinary general care is required to improve outcome of sepsis by reinforcing hand hygiene and other infection control measures, adequate monitoring and documentation tailored to the available resources. Goals of care and prognosis should be discussed with patients and families early and either shifting the patient to a hospital with better facilities or limiting or withdrawing therapy in case of poor prognosis should be considered.


Anaesthesia, Pain and Intensive Care