Septic Shock Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • PURPOSE: Many patients with sepsis require surgery for their management, often on an urgent or emergency basis. Anaesthetists are commonly required to manage patients with sepsis and septic shock in the operating room, past anaesthesia recovery area, and the intensive care unit. Since little has been written in the Anaesthesia literature on sepsis and septic shock, a review of this topic was considered appropriate. SOURCE: References were obtained from computerized searches on the National Library of Medicine (English language), recent review articles and personal files. PRINCIPLES FINDINGS: Septic shock is a common cause of morbidity and mortality. Its presentation may be subtle or catastrophic. Successful management depends on an understanding of the pathophysiology of the syndrome, allowing rapid, appropriate resuscitation. This often requires aggressive correction of volume deficit, maintenance of adequate perfusion pressure with inotropic and vasopressor therapy, mechanical ventilation and correction of coagulopathy. Appropriate cultures must be taken and antibiotic therapy started, often empirically. Anaesthetic management should include careful haemodynamic monitoring. Anaesthesia induction and maintenance must be tailored to the haemodynamically unstable patient. CONCLUSIONS: The management of the septic patient in the perioperative period presents a challenge for the anaesthetist. Haemodynamic and respiratory instability should be anticipated. Management requires multisystem intervention and careful anesthetic management.

publication date

  • January 1997