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Sepsis is one of our greatest fears as it can readily go under the radar at first assessment. It’s crucial to take temperature, pulse oxygen levels and BP where possible. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has produced a clinical care standard. The key features are:

Sepsis in children

  • convulsions or fits
  • rapid breathing 
  • a rash that doesn’t fade when you press it 
  • fever or low temperature 
  • discoloured or mottled skin, very pale or bluish 
  • not passing urine for several hours 
  • hard to wake, lethargic or floppy.

Sepsis in adults 

  • rapid breathing or heart rate
  • confusion, slurred speech, or disorientation 
  • fever or shivering 
  • weakness or muscle pain
  • not passing urine
  • new rash or discoloured skin 
  • feeling like you’re going to die.


  1. Sepsis Clinical Care Standard

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