SIRS in the Time of Sepsis-3
Severe sepsis is a common, deadly, and diagnostically vexing condition. Recent recommendations for diagnosing sepsis, referred to as consensus guidelines, provide a definition of sepsis and remove the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) as a component of the diagnostic process. A concise definition of sepsis is welcomed. However, the approach to developing these guidelines, although thorough, had weaknesses. Emphasis is placed on mortality prediction rather than on early diagnosis. Diagnostic criteria are recommended to replace current criteria without evidence of any effect that their use would have on mortality. SIRS is a prevalent feature of patients with sepsis, should remain an important component of the diagnostic process, and remains a valuable term for discussing patients with life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by infection.