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This article is part of the supplement: Severe sepsis and drotrecogin alfa (activated)

Highly Accessed Review

Diagnosis and treatment of severe sepsis

Yann-Erick Claessens12 and Jean-François Dhainaut12*

Author Affiliations

1 Pôle Réanimations-Urgences, Hôpital Cochin, rue du Faubourg Saint-Jacques, 75679 Paris Cedex 14, Paris, France

2 Paris Descartes University, rue de l'école de Médecine, 75270 Paris Cedex 06, Paris, France

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Critical Care 2007, 11(Suppl 5):S2  doi:10.1186/cc6153

Published: 19 December 2007

Abstract

The burden of infection in industrialized countries has prompted considerable effort to improve the outcomes of patients with sepsis. This has been formalized through the Surviving Sepsis Campaign 'bundles', derived from the recommendations of 11 professional societies, which have promoted global improvement in those practices whose primary goal it is to reduce sepsis-related death. However, difficulties remain in implementing all of the procedures recommended by the experts, despite the apparent pragmatism of those procedures. We summarize the main proposals made by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and focus on the difficulties associated with making a proper diagnosis and supplying adequate treatment promptly to septic patients.