Code Sepsis

Implementation of ‘Code Sepsis’ at N.C. Children’s Hospital took place on June 2.

Due to the prevalence, seriousness, and treatability of sepsis, teams from the N.C. Children’s Hospital, UNC Hospitals Emergency Department, and UNC Hospitals adult ICUs have been working together for several months on sepsis detection systems and response protocols aimed at promptly recognizing and treating sepsis and reducing mortality. These systems and protocols, which are designed to accurately identify patients with sepsis, respond quickly with evidence-based care, and decrease mortality, have become part of a hospital-wide project, Code Sepsis.

This new standardized sepsis care will be implemented in the Children’s Hospital on June 2. Implementation in UNC Hospitals Emergency Department and in all of UNC Hospitals’ inpatient areas will occur in the summer and fall, respectively. For more information, visit our Code Sepsis webpage.

Every year, more than 1.6 million Americans develop sepsis during hospitalization and nearly a quarter-million of those die from sepsis-related complications. Although sepsis most often occurs in the elderly, the young, and those with chronic diseases such as cancer or liver disease, sepsis can affect perfectly healthy people of all ages. Studies show that when health-care providers quickly diagnose sepsis and treat it by immediately administering antibiotics and fluids, sepsis survivorship increases by as much as 50 percent. 

Key Points for Children’s Hospital Code Sepsis launch:

  • Visit the Code Sepsis webpage and review the toolkit for pediatric screening and standardized treatments for the first hour of sepsis therapy
  • There is a "Pediatric Sepsis Bundle” order set now available in EPIC for the first hour of pediatric sepsis treatment
  • The Pediatric Rapid Response team responds to all areas of UNC Hospitals and on-site clinics for pediatric patients including patients with possible sepsis
  • The  Emergency Department has a standard response to pediatric sepsis and standardized order set “ED PEDS SEPSIS” that includes the standardized Pediatric Sepsis Bundle
  • The gold standard for obtaining blood cultures in sepsis patients of all ages is via peripheral blood cultures even if the patient will also have a central line blood culture obtained
  • Contact us at  with any questions or feedback