Sepsis was listed as a cause of death in 6% of deaths in a review of death certificate data, according to a findings published in MMWR.
The syndrome, caused by "the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death," can be difficult to predict, diagnose and treat, according to the CDC.
There are no diagnostic tests for sepsis, so diagnosis is based on clinical judgment. Patients with sepsis will have infection symptoms, along with shivering or fever, confusion, extreme pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, sweaty skin or high heart rate.
Following diagnosis, sepsis can be treated with various therapies, including antibiotics, oxygen and IV fluids. Treatment can also include kidney dialysis and surgery to remove damaged tissue.
The CDC noted that some infections are more likely to lead to sepsis than others.
"Sepsis is often associated with infections of the lungs (eg, pneumonia), urinary tract (eg, kidney), skin, and gut,” the agency stated. “Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and some types of Streptococcus (strep) are common germs that can cause sepsis.”
Marking Sepsis Awareness Month, Healio Internal Medicine presents the latest research for physicians.
not improve mortality in sepsis
High-doses of sodium selenite and anti-infectious therapy guided by a procalcitonin algorithm do not improve the outcome in patients with severe sepsis, according to data published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Read more.
Primary care intervention does not improve sepsis survivors' mental health QOL
A primary care-focused intervention program appeared to have no effect on the mental well-being of sepsis survivors, according to an investigation published in JAMA. Read more.
Refined definition of sepsis should help avoid
Research into the diagnosis and management of sepsis that was published in 2015 should improve patient care, Nathan E. Brummel, MD, MSCI, said at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting. Read more.
Sepsis begins outside of hospital in 80% of cases
The CDC classified sepsis as a preventable medical emergency and said it begins outside of the hospital in 80% of cases. A CDC evaluation also showed that 70% of sepsis patients had recently interacted with a health care provider or had a chronic disease that required frequent medical care. Read more.
Systemic inflammatory response syndrome, sepsis
to mortality in alcoholic hepatitis
Data link systemic inflammatory response syndrome and sepsis with a nearly threefold increase in mortality among patients with alcoholic hepatitis, according to a retrospective meta-analysis presented at Digestive Disease Week 2016. Read more.
Knowledge of sepsis warning signs can save lives
The ability to recognize the symptoms of sepsis is critical for ICU workers in order to reduce the rate of sepsis-related deaths, according to Steven Simpson, MD, professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care at the University of Kansas. Read more.
Engineers develop processor to treat, prevent sepsis
Oregon State University engineers have developed a small processor — approximately the size of a coffee mug — that uses microchannel technology to remove circulating bacteria and endotoxins from blood. The approach may offer an alternative to antibiotics, which are not always effective against sepsis. Read more.