Health Information Management

News: Sepsis survivors face future health problems

CDI Strategies, October 28, 2010

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Patients who survive sepsis infections face a long battle with cognitive and physical decline, according to research from University of Michigan Health System physicians that will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) today, Oct. 27. Theodore "Jack" Iwashyna, M.D., an assistant professor of Internal Medicine, and his colleagues found that older patients hospitalized with sepsis are more than three times as likely to develop these problems.

The JAMA research shows that 60 percent of hospitalizations for severe sepsis were associated with worsened cognitive and physical function among surviving older adults. The odds of acquiring moderate to severe cognitive impairment were 3.3 times higher following an episode of sepsis than for other hospitalizations.
Severe sepsis also was associated with greater risk for the development of new functional limitations following hospitalization, says Iwashyna.
Among patients who had no limitations before sepsis, more than 40% developed trouble with walking. Nearly 1 in 5 developed new problems with shopping or preparing a meal. Patients often developed new problems with such basic things as bathing and toileting themselves.
“We used to think of sepsis as just a medical emergency, an infection that you get sick with and then recover,” said Iwashyna, “But we discovered a significant number of people face years of problems afterwards.”
For more information, visit the University of Michigan Health System website:

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