Terms used in this guideline

Critical care specialist or team

An intensivist or intensive care outreach team, or a specialist in intensive care or paediatric intensive care.

Not responding to intravenous fluid resuscitation

Signs that the person is not responding to resuscitation include lack of improvement or worsening:

  • tachycardia

  • level of consciousness

  • blood pressure

  • respiratory rate

  • blood lactate

  • urine output

  • peripheral perfusion

  • blood gases.

Recently pregnant

Someone is considered to have recently been pregnant:

  • in the 24 hours following a termination of pregnancy or miscarriage

  • for 4 weeks after giving birth.

Clinical judgement is needed after miscarriage (particularly in the second trimester) or termination (particularly in the second or third trimester), because it is not clear how quickly people return to pre-pregnancy levels in these situations.


Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction due to a dysregulated host response to infection.

Suspected sepsis

Suspected sepsis is used to indicate people who might have sepsis and require face-to-face assessment and consideration of urgent intervention.

Senior clinical decision maker

A 'senior clinical decision maker' for people under 18 is a paediatric or emergency care qualified doctor of grade ST4 or above or equivalent.

A 'senior clinical decision maker' for people aged 18 years or over is a clinician of grade ST3 or above or equivalent.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)