Original Research

Contrasting qSOFA and SIRS Criteria for Early Sepsis Identification in a Veteran Population

The quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment lacks sensitivity to be an effective replacement for the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome criteria for sepsis screening.

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Sepsis is a major public health concern: 10% of patients with sepsis die, and mortality quadruples with progression to septic shock. 1 Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria, originally published in 1992, are commonly used to detect sepsis, but as early as 2001, these criteria were recognized as lacking specificity. 2 Nonetheless, the use of SIRS criteria has persisted in practice. Sepsis was redefined in Sepsis-3 (2016) to guide earlier and more appropriate identification and treatment, which has been shown to greatly improve patient outcomes. 1,3 Key recommendations in Sepsis 3 included eliminating SIRS criteria, defining organ dysfunction by the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, and introducing the quick SOFA (qSOFA) score. 1

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