The value of measuring lactate levels is expanding. Though generally considered a nonspecific biomarker, knowing lactate levels early in a patients presentation can provide valuable information to help guide assessment and treatment. It can be particularly useful in ICU and ED settings where the presentation of symptoms may be inconclusive while diseases progress rapidly with severe pathology. Lactate testing can open a critical window for early intervention when treatment is most likely to be successful. This seminar provides a framework for understanding lactate and the role it can play as a prognostic indicator of morbidity and mortality.
At the conclusion of the seminar, attendees should be able to:
Understand the role of lactate as a prognostic indicator for morbidity and mortality
Identify disease states where lactate testing can add significant clinical value
Understand the differences between the systemic inflammatory response (SIR) and sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock
Understand the urgency associated with assessing lactate levels