Fast Five Quiz: Refresh Your Knowledge on Key Aspects of Sepsis

Richard H. Sinert, DO


June 07, 2018

Urinalysis and urine culture are indicated for every patient who is in a septic state. Urinary tract infection is a common source for sepsis, especially in elderly individuals. Adults who are febrile without localizing symptoms or signs have a 10%-15% incidence of occult urinary tract infection. Obtaining a culture is important for isolating a specified organism and tailoring antibiotic therapy.

ACTH stimulation test is not recommended for identifying the subset of patients with septic shock or ARDS who should receive corticosteroid therapy. The American College of Critical Care Medicine does not recommend the routine use of free cortisol measurements in critically ill patients. No clear parameters for the normal range of free cortisol in such patients are recognized, and the free cortisol assay is not widely available, despite its advantages over the total serum cortisol assay.

Although Gram staining may be helpful for identifying healthcare-related infections (eg, presence of yeast), it has not proved to be of clinical value in community-acquired intra-abdominal infections.

For more on the workup of sepsis, read here.


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