Clinical update

Sepsis in children: how to spot the signs

Institute of Health Visiting’s latest resource helps parents recognise the symptoms of sepsis in a child

Institute of Health Visiting’s latest resource helps parents recognise the symptoms of sepsis in a child

Although not all fevers in children are life-threatening, new guidance recommends that parents recognise the symptoms of sepsis and when to get emergency care. Picture: iStock

Essential information

Sepsis is a rare, life-threatening condition arising when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance states that the condition is difficult to diagnose with certainty. Signs and symptoms can be non-specific and although there may be a history of infection, fever is not always present.

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