Lactate – A Marker for Sepsis and Trauma

EMCREG International

Please find below the introduction of the article entitled “Lactate – A Marker for Sepsis and Trauma”, which was written in English by Andra L. Blomkalns and published in EMCREG International (Emergency Medicine Cardiac Research and Education Group)


  1. Describe the process by which lactate would become elevated for a given patient.
  2. List conditions which may cause elevated serum lactate other than trauma and sepsis.
  3. Explain the significance of “lactate clearance”.
  4. Discuss the potential uses for lactate in the emergency department.


In this newsletter, lactate, a serum marker older than any cardiac marker cousin, assumes center stage in two of the most difficult and resource intensive emergency medicine conditions – sepsis and trauma. This EMCREG-International newsletter aims to familiarize the emergency physician with lactate and its potential use the emergency department (ED).

Lactic acid or lactate, as its name implies, was first isolated from sour milk in the 18th century. In 1918, scientists observed cases in which metabolic acidosis was associated with decreased blood flow and shock. In the 1970’s and 80’s, the seminal works of Huckabee and Cohen finally described the clinical syndrome of lactic acidosis as we know it today. The clinical and physiologic condition of metabolic acidosis has been recognized for nearly a century, yet we are only now discovering new approaches for its diagnosis and treatment.


Please click here to download the original article, written in English:

Lactate – A Marker for Sepsis and Trauma