Module B: Pathophysiology and Assessment

CE Credits: 1.5


Sepsis is a major cause of death in intensive care units (ICUs), in part because it can be difficult to diagnose quickly. This module describes how sepsis progresses from an infection to a full-body immune response that can turn the body’s defenses against itself; it details which patients are most at risk, and the most common sources of infection. The module also describes the classic symptoms—as well as what other symptoms may present—and the lab tests used to diagnose sepsis.

Learning objectives: After completing this module case managers will be able to:
» Describe the etiology of sepsis
» Identify key elements of a sepsis examination and work-up
» Discuss laboratory tests to confirm sepsis
» Describe non-laboratory tests associated with diagnosing sepsis


Advance your professional practice: When case managers can easily identify the risk factors for sepsis and the criteria for diagnosis, we can be more proactive in starting the best care for our patients. Using established sepsis bundles, which lay out best practices on a timeline, we can work with transdisciplinary team members to provide more efficient and effective care.

Improve organizational performance: Given the high rate of mortality and morbidity for sepsis, team members can help reduce those rates by having a firm grasp of the symptoms and diagnostic tools for sepsis, so that we can initiate care sooner, achieve better outcomes and reduce overall costs.