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Sepsis: Symptoms, Assessment, Diagnosis, and the Hour-1 Bundle in Patients With Cancer

Jean E. Boucher
Dawn Carpenter
CJON 2020, 24(1), 99-102 DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.99-102

Sepsis has a higher incidence of hospital stays and poorer morbidity and mortality outcomes in patients with cancer. The development of infection in weakened immune systems and prolonged treatment courses increase the risk for sepsis in patients with cancer. The causes of infection that can lead to sepsis in patients with cancer are further complicated by disease- or therapy-related neutropenia. Early recognition of sepsis is critical for prompt treatment to prevent tissue damage, organ failure, and mortality. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign recommends the Hour-1 bundle as best practice for sepsis management.


  • Sepsis has been redefined as a life-threatening organ dysfunction and dysregulated host response to infection.
  • According to the Hour-1 bundle, early recognition of sepsis includes the administration of antibiotic therapy.
  • Oncology nurses are essential to the early recognition of sepsis and educating patients on how to prevent cancer-related infection.

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