There is a bit of a misunderstanding that could result from many of the recent guidelines and publications about recognising sepsis in children: that fever plus tachycardia equals sepsis. Since febrile children are routinely tachycardic, this does not make sense. The misunderstanding comes from a retrospective approach to guideline definitions of sepsis.
If you look at all the children who were diagnosed as septic, what were the common features at the presentation?
Abnormal temperature (high or low) and tachycardia come up a lot.
There are two sides to this coin. Sepsis in children is not simple. It is difficult to recognise and thwarted by many biases. Yet it is deadly and anything that we can do to improve our recognition of sepsis is going to save lives. So complexity is no reason for complacency.