Quality & Patient Safety

As the threat of sepsis intensifies, experts push for a faster response

Patient Safety Monitor, December 6, 2016

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Patient Safety Monitor.

A deadly infection that has lingered throughout healthcare for the last several decades is finding a foothold at the national level thanks to recently updated definitions that offer clinicians a more targeted approach for detection and prevention.

Although sepsis has existed within healthcare for decades, until recently, definitions surrounding the illness have varied. In recent years, however, sepsis has become increasingly prevalent accompanied by serious complications. According to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2011, the rate of hospitalizations for sepsis more than doubled between 2000 and 2008. Furthermore, the infection is associated with sometimes shocking death rates. In 2008, just 2% of hospitalizations were for sepsis, but represented 17% of in-hospital deaths.

The true number of sepsis-related deaths varies tremendously. For example, information derived from death certificates indicates that sepsis is the underlying cause in less than 50,000 deaths each year, and one of multiple causes in more than 182,000 deaths each year.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Patient Safety Monitor.

Most Popular