UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Lactate use in pediatric sepsis

Keywords: Infection, sepsis, lactic acid (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/15/2021 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 2/28/2021)
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Despite a lack of formal guidelines and evidence, lactate measurement has become a component of many pediatric emergency sepsis quality programs, with one survey showing that up to 68% of responding pediatric emergency medicine providers routinely measured it.

The Surviving Sepsis Campaign, last updated in February 2020, could not make a recommendation on the use of lactate in pediatric patients with suspected shock. The authors did state that lactate levels are often measured during the evaluation of septic shock if the lab can be obtained rapidly. However, lactate levels alone would not be an appropriate screening test.

References

Weiss SL, Peters MJ, Alhazzani W, et al. Surviving sepsis campaign international guidelines for the management of septic shock and sepsis-associated organ dysfunction in children. Intensive Care Med. 2020;46(Suppl 1):10-67.

Scott HF, Brou L, Deakyne SJet al. Association between early lactate levels and 30-day mortality in clinically suspected sepsis in children. JAMA Pediatr. 2017 Mar 1;171(3):249-255.