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Sepsis Calculator (Sepsis-3 Criteria)

Created by Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

This sepsis calculator is based on the Sepsis-3 criteria, and will allow for the earlier recognition and better management of patients with sepsis, or those at risk of developing sepsis. In the article below, you will find definitions, as well as the sepsis and septic shock criteria, according to the most recent standards.

Sepsis definition

Sepsis is a major public health problem and can be characterized as a syndrome of physiologic, pathologic, and biochemical abnormalities induced by infection. Despite advances in medicine (e.g., vaccines, antibiotics) it remains the primary cause of death from infection, especially if not recognized and treated immediately. Sepsis' course through the body is influenced by pathogen factors and determinants specific to the patient, e.g., sex, race, age, comorbidities, environment, etc. The difference between sepsis and infection is that sepsis is characterized by an abnormal or dysregulated host response, and the presence of organ dysfunction.

Sepsis criteria

Below you can find Sepsis-3 criteria for diagnosing sepsis:

  1. Patient with suspected infection who is likely to have a prolonged stay in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or has a high risk of dying in the hospital should be promptly identified with qSOFA (using e.g., qSOFA calculator). The qSOFA criterion include:
  • alteration in mental status.
  • systolic blood pressure <=100 mmHg.
  • respiratory rate >=22/min.

If the score equals 2 or more, you should perform an assessment for evidence of organ dysfunction.
2. Organ dysfunction can be identified as an acute change of 2 points or more in the SOFA score after the infection. (the baseline SOFA score should be assumed to equal zero in patients without a preexisting organ dysfunction - for more details see the SOFA score calculator ).

The SOFA criterion include:

If the SOFA score equals 2 or more, the patient meets the sepsis criteria.

Septic shock definition

Septic shock is a subset of sepsis. It is characterized by underlying circulatory, cellular or metabolic abnormalities, which substantially increases mortality.

Septic shock criteria

Below you can find the Sepsis-3 criteria for diagnosing septic shock:

  1. Meeting sepsis criteria.
  2. Persisting hypotension that requires vasopressors to maintain a MAP higher than 65 mmHg.
  3. Serum lactate level higher than 2 mmol/L (18 mg/dL), despite adequate volume resuscitation.

Meeting the above criteria increases hospital mortality to over 40%.

Sepsis calculator - implications

Neither qSOFA nor SOFA is intended to be an absolute indication of sepsis. Failing to obtain 2 or more qSOFA or SOFA criterion should not mean you delay further investigation or treatment. qSOFA can be easily assessed at the bedside without the need for blood tests, and should help in the early identification of infection. Next, necessary laboratory tests can be performed to identify organ dysfunction.

This Sepsis Calculator and the associated article was based on The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3).

We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace professional medical advice.

Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
You can asses qSOFA and SOFA using our qSOFA and SOFA score calculators.
qSOFA score
SOFA score
Vasopressors required to maintain MAP ≥65 mmHg?
Serum lactate level
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