Adult sepsis pathways

The adult emergency department pathway should always be used for patients from 18 years of age and above. For patients from 16-18 years the paediatric or adult emergency department sepsis pathway can be used, at the discretion of the treating clinician and local guidelines.

The paediatric emergency department sepsis pathway should always be used for children younger than 16 years.

Two versions of the adult pathway have been developed for:

  • tertiary and secondary facilities
  • rural and remote facilities.

The clinical content in both versions is the same. The escalation advice in the rural and remote pathway takes into account the need to consider early retrieval.

The pathways are available with optional sepsis antibiotic prescribing guidelines and administration instructions. The guidelines were developed to reflect the local epidemiology of antimicrobial-resistant infections (including MRSA) associated with three different regions of Queensland). The decision about which pathway to use is to be made in consultation with your local infectious diseases or antimicrobial stewardship service.

Further information regarding which pathway to use can be found in the Adult emergency department Sepsis Pathway Factsheet and the Adult emergency department Sepsis Pathway FAQ sheet.

See links to all versions of the adult emergency department sepsis pathways by clicking on the drop-down boxes below.

The pathways can be ordered at using the codes listed below. If your organisation does not have a WINC account, you will need to create one to be able to place an order.

For information on adapting these for use outside of Queensland Health, please contact us.

If your emergency department patient has an infection but does not meet the criteria to be screened for sepsis, or has been screened and assessed as at low risk for sepsis, it is recommended they are given a copy of the Adult Sepsis Discharge Sheet so they are aware to the signs of sepsis and what to do, should their condition deteriorate.

For more information on the pathways please refer to the resources above or email

Last updated: 4 June 2021