If there’s one thing that will separate the rookie nurse from the seasoned pro is how an elevated lactate is interpreted. The gut reaction in many cases is to scream SEPSIS from the rooftops. After all, sepsis is very serious and catching it early plays an enormous role in reducing mortality. And yes, one of the signs of sepsis IS an elevated lactate. However, loads of other things can cause it to be high, and knowing what these are will not only make you come across as incredibly competent, you’ll be prepared to take even better care of your patients.