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qSOFA (Quick SOFA Score) for Sepsis Identification

Predicts poor outcome in infection patients; initial step in suspected sepsis evaluation (2016).

Note: The qSOFA was introduced in February 2016 as a way to initially evaluate for poor outcome in infected patients by the Sepsis-3 group as an evolving definition and understanding of sepsis, moving away from the previous SIRS criteria-based definitions.


  • A qSOFA Score of ≥2 suggests a high risk of poor outcome; these patients should be assessed for evidence of organ dysfunction, including lactate levels.
    • They should also have a SOFA Score calculated (with a SOFA Score ≥2 meeting criteria for the new clinical definition of sepsis, as a proxy for organ dysfunction).
    • Patients should receive standard interventions for sepsis, including but not limited to adequate fluid resuscitation, antibiotics, and source control.
  • A qSOFA Score <2 does not immediately suggest that a patient is not high risk; if a clinician is concerned, he or she should continue with their standard management of patients with suspected sepsis. The qSOFA Score can easily be repeated frequently.


Figure. Operationalization of Clinical Criteria Identifying Patients With Sepsis and Septic Shock