BACKGROUND: Sepsis is the primary diagnosis in more than 8% of all critically ill children and sepsis is among the ten leading causes of death in children <10 years. Glucocorticosteroids are currently recommended in septic children with fluid or catecholamine resistant refractory shock. Glucocorticosteroids are widely used for severe sepsis in paediatric intensive care units worldwide. However, the evidence on the clinical effects of glucocorticosteroids for sepsis in children is unclear.
METHODS: We will perform a systematic review with meta-analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis of randomised clinical trials. We will include randomised clinical trials assessing the effects of glucocorticosteroids vs placebo or no intervention as an add-on therapy to standard care for sepsis in children. For the assessment of harms, we will also include quasi-randomised studies and observational studies identified during our searches for randomised clinical trials.
DISCUSSION: This review will seek to assess whether glucocorticosteroids indeed have their therapeutic place in the standard treatment for sepsis in children.