Pediatric sepsis was most recently defined by the International Pediatric Sepsis Consensus Conference (IPSCC) in 2005 to standardize an operational definition of sepsis primarily to aid investigational and epidemiologic studies. However, this definition was fraught with challenges from its inception, including being informed by an incomplete understanding of sepsis pathobiology and a lack of a gold standard for validation. Additionally, implementation of the IPSCC sepsis definition in resource-limited environments was not considered, leading to inconsistent application of the definition both clinically and epidemiologically.

After the 2016 release of the adult Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3), the Society of Critical Care Medicine organized the Pediatric Sepsis Definition Taskforce to systematically evaluate deficiencies in the current pediatric sepsis definitions and develop a revised, data-driven definition. The Taskforce began with a systematic review and metanalysis to characterize demographic, clinical, laboratory, and illness severity associations with the...

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