Hospitalized COVID-19 patients more likely to acquire, die from sepsis than flu patients, data suggests

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients face a 22 percent higher risk of developing sepsis and are 113 percent more likely to experience septic shock compared to hospitalized influenza patients, according to an Epic Health Research Network report published Nov. 19. 

For COVID-19 patients, the septic shock inpatient mortality was 59.4 percent, while it was nearly 32 percent for influenza patients. Additionally, those with COVID-19 faced a significantly higher overall inpatient mortality rate — nearly 16 percent compared to 4.1 percent of hospitalized influenza patients. 

Researchers evaluated data from 66,236 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and compared it to data from 56,896 hospitalized influenza patients during the flu seasons of 2016-18. Data was compiled from 83 healthcare organizations throughout the country, representing 358 hospitals. 

The findings indicate that physicians should be vigilant when monitoring for sepsis in COVID-19 patients, and call for additional research to better understand how the condition develops in coronavirus patients, the study concludes. 


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