Pediatric Sepsis Program



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The Pediatric Sepsis Program (PSP) works with the international medical and scientific communities through scientific research, clinical decision support, education, public awareness, and quality improvement projects to search for the causes of sepsis, develop the best methods for early detection and resuscitation, and continuously test for more effective therapies to reverse the effects of sepsis.

With generous support from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, the PSP continues to grow its multidisciplinary team to advance knowledge in pediatric sepsis. The program is the first in the United States to develop such a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to pediatric sepsis research and care.

Since 2017, PSP members have published more 200 peer reviewed manuscripts, and received more than $30 million in extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and other agencies. PSP members serve in international leadership positions in pediatric sepsis guideline and definitions creation, including the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, International Pediatric Sepsis Definitions Task Force, and the Children’s Hospital Association Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes Collaborative.

The PSP is supported by a Department of Pediatrics Chair's Initiative award, the Divisions of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, the Office of Clinical Quality Improvement, and investigator-initiated grants.

Research Highlights

PRagMatic Pediatric Trial of Balanced vs nOrmal Saline FlUid in Sepsis

PRoMPT BOLUS is a clinical trial to compare normal saline and lactated Ringer's, two common treatments for pediatric sepsis that may be used in ordinary clinical care. Although both fluids are helpful to treat pediatric sepsis, researchers do not yet know which fluid is the safest and most effective.

Learn more.

Situation Awareness to Improve Infant Sepsis Recognition in the Presence of Clinical Uncertainty

Using a human-systems engineering approach, the PSP team interviewed nurses and clinicians to elicit knowledge about the complexity and uncertainty of early sepsis recognition. The research team translated findings into mock-ups that embed prediction model outputs alongside displays of clinical information, and evaluated risk-prediction algorithms for future use in simulation experiments and eventual implementation.

Learn more.