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To find predictors of intensive care unit (ICU) requirement within the first 48 hours in newly diagnosed sepsis patients presenting at the emergency department.Analysis of a prospective observational cohort was performed. We recruited new sepsis patients at the emergency department, and collected baseline characteristics and parameters. Variables were compared between patients: those that required ICU within 48 hours and those that did not. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify independent predictors.Out of 719 patients enrolled, 275 were confirmed to have sepsis. There were 107 patients (39%) that required ICU admission within 48 hours. Independent predictors for ICU requirement were: lower body temperature (P = .019), initial lactate (P = .02), 2-hour lactate clearance (P = .035), and the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score without cardiovascular component (SOFA no CVS) (P < .001). The optimal cutoff values for the two strongest predictors were: SOFA no CVS ≥ 5 (adjusted OR, 5.3; 95% CI, 1.9–14.7) and initial lactate ≥ 1.9 mmol/L (adjusted OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.2–8.9). We also proposed a combined “LACTIC score” with higher predictive ability.We suggested a way to predict ICU requirement in sepsis patients and proposed a combined score that might be better than individual parameters. Further validation should be performed before using them clinically.