Sepsis as an Indication for Surgery

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Did you know? Many of the patients admitted through your emergency department and taken to the operating room actually meet criteria for sepsis.


  • Patient comes to the ED complaining of severe LLQ pain and fever
  • CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis reveals extensive, acute sigmoid
    diverticulitis with perforation as evidenced by free air in the peritoneum
  • The patient is taken emergently to the O.R. for partial sigmoid colectomy
    with colostomy formation
  • The patient’s clinical condition at the time of admission calculated to a SOFA
    score of 3
  • The first diagnosis written in the chart should be sepsis

Please do not forget to think about sepsis in patients presenting with cholecystitis, appendicitis, diverticulitis, intra-abdominal abscesses, enterocutaneous fistulas, etc.

Please also remember to document peritonitis in patients who display rebound and/or guarding on physical exam.

Download the complete tip, Sepsis as an Indication for Surgery.