Box 1.

Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria6

Sepsis is confirmed if any two of the following are present:
  • New onset confusion or altered mental state

  • Temperature >38.3°C or <36°C

  • Heart rate >90 bpm

  • Respiratory rate (counted over 60 minutes) >20 breaths per minute

  • Blood glucose >7.7 mmol/L in the absence of known diabetes

  • White cell count >12×109/L or <4×109/L