• Study
  • Published August 2016

Vital signs: epidemiology of sepsis: prevalence of health care factors and opportunities for prevention.

Sepsis has been a significant focus of quality improvement initiatives. In this retrospective review, researchers sought to identify patient characteristics, risk factors, and infections that might inform sepsis diagnosis, treatment, and prevention efforts. The medical records of a random sample of 246 adult and 79 pediatric patients with codes for severe sepsis or septic shock across 4 New York hospitals were reviewed. Investigators found that 72% of patients had exposure to at least one health care factor during the 30 days prior to being admitted for sepsis or a medical condition requiring frequent health care contact. Pneumonia was the most frequently documented infection causing sepsis. They concluded that reducing sepsis will require an ongoing focus on infection prevention.

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