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qSOFA (Quick SOFA) Score for Sepsis

Identifies high-risk patients for in-hospital mortality with suspected infection outside the ICU.

Use to predict mortality, NOT to diagnose sepsis, per 2017 Surviving Sepsis Guidelines.

Advice

  • A “positive" qSOFA Score (≥2) suggests high risk of poor outcome in patients with suspected infection. These patients should be more thoroughly assessed for evidence of organ dysfunction.
  • A positive qSOFA Score by itself should not trigger sepsis-directed interventions like initiation of broad-spectrum antibiotics; rather, it should prompt clinicians to further investigate for presence of organ dysfunction or to increase frequency of monitoring.
  • The Sepsis-3 task force recommends that a positive qSOFA Score should prompt the calculation of a SOFA score to confirm the diagnosis of sepsis. This remains controversial, as qSOFA has been shown to be more predictive than SOFA outside of the ICU setting.
  • Even if the qSOFA Score is initially "negative" (<2), it can be repeated if there is a change in the patient’s clinical status.

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