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In this article explore risk stratification tools for patients with suspected sepsis.
Blood samples in yellow tray
© UCL School of Pharmacy

Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection and requires immediate treatment. Often this is only available within a hospital setting.

Sepsis can be hard to spot, particularly in the following patient groups[1]:

  • Babies and young children.
  • People with dementia.
  • People with a learning disability.
  • People who have difficulty communicating.

Use the following links to navigate to the risk stratification tool for patients with suspected sepsis, which are produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK. These are a very useful summary of the clinical signs to look out for when spotting sepsis.

Adults and children over 12 years: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng51/resources/table-1-risk-stratification-tool-for-adults-children-and-young-people-aged-12-years-and-over-with-suspected-sepsis-2551487005

Children aged 5-11 years: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng51/resources/table-2-risk-stratification-tool-for-children-aged-511-years-with-suspected-sepsis-2551487008

Children aged under 5 years: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng51/resources/table-3-risk-stratification-tool-for-children-aged-under-5-years-with-suspected-sepsis-2551487007

Additionally, you can use the following link to see a useful sepsis toolkit produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). The toolkit contains a host of resources designed at raising awareness of sepsis at all levels. In particular, look at the section called ‘clinical resources and guidance for practices’. This shines a light on a number of early recognition, diagnosis and management guidelines.


[1]NHS. Symptoms Sepsis [online]. 2019 [cited July 2020]

© UCL School of Pharmacy
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