What are the Sepsis Six?

The Sepsis Six is a bundle of medical guidelines designed to reduce the mortality and better the outcome of patients diagnosed with sepsis.

The Sepsis Six (or Sepsis 6) were developed in 2006 by a group of physicians and nurses (Daniels, Nutbeam, Laver) working on the Survive Sepsis campaign – an educational programme to raise awareness and improve the treatment of patients with sepsis.

Survive Sepsis' training programme was based around the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines and became the official educational package of both the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and the UK Sepsis Trust.


In 2016 the National Institute for Health & Excellence (NICE) published their new guidelines on sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management.

The Sepsis Six consists of six recommendations – all targeted to be delivered within one hour of the initial diagnosis of sepsis.

  1. Start O2 and titrate to saturation targets. 
  2. Take blood cultures.
  3. Administer intravenous antibiotics.
  4. Measure serum lactate and send required blood tests.
  5. Start IV fluid resuscitation.
  6. Accurate urine output measurement.

Many hospitals throughout the world have since adopted the Sepsis Six, which has been associated with decreased mortality, decreased length of stay in hospital, and fewer intensive care bed days.

You should read up on your hospitals own Sepsis Policy as treatments and recommendations vary.