Sepsis and life-threatening infections are one of the most common reasons for children to present to Emergency Departments and Intensive Care Units. Septic shock is the result of an infection, triggering a complex response by the body resulting in decreased blood pressure. Decreased blood pressure can contribute to a decreased blood supply to organs and subsequently failure of one or more organs can result in death.
One of the biggest challenges in treating sepsis is the time required to obtain the accurate diagnosis of the infection, and to decide if and what antibiotics are required. We know that early recognition and rapid initiation of treatment can improve outcomes for children with sepsis and/or septic shock.
Queensland clinicians are currently leading Australia’s largest paediatric sepsis study, with the goal of using gene-expression testing to improve diagnosis of life-threatening infection. Researchers are also investigating as part of a multicentre pilot randomised controlled trial, led by the Queensland Children’s Hospital, the best way to treat children once diagnosed with sepsis.
Current research projects