14 latest sepsis findings

Sepsis, a complication caused by the body's response to infection, can lead to organ failure and death, according to the CDC.

Read on for 14 recent findings on sepsis.

1. A study published in the Journal of Critical Care found that an educational program for the identification and treatment of sepsis implemented in coordination with rapid response care teams can result in a 10 percent reduction in sepsis deaths. Researchers reviewed data on sepsis patients treated at UF Health Jacksonville (Fla.) between Oct. 1, 2013, and Nov. 10, 2015.

2. Administering antibiotics earlier, along with completing a three-hour bundle of care, helped improve outcomes for sepsis patients as compared to administering intravenous fluids earlier, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers examined data from patients with sepsis and septic shock reported to the New York State Department of Health from April 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016.

3. Children who develop sepsis tend to feel the effects of the infection on their physical, social and emotional well-being until months after hospital discharge. For the study, researchers reviewed EHRs and identified 778 children at Seattle Children's Hospital between 2012 and 2015 who were diagnosed with sepsis within four hours of arrival. The research was presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, May 6 to May 9, in San Francisco.

4. People who take short-term prescribed steroid pills may be at risk of developing serious conditions that could turn life-threatening, including sepsis, according to a paper published in The BMJ. The study included data from 1.5 million non-elderly adults with private insurance in the United States.

5. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that septic shock patients treated at a hospital with an insufficient supply of the drug norepinephrine were more likely to die than those treated at a hospital not experiencing the effects of the 2011 norepinephrine drug shortage. For the study, researchers examined data on 27,835 septic shock patients treated at 26 hospitals between 2008 and 2013.

6. Researchers found a biomarker that may forecast death in sepsis patients, according to a study published in Science Advances. Researchers identified the biomarker — methylthioadenosine — after examining genetic pathways in mice infected with Salmonella bacteria, which is known to incite sepsis. They then detected the biomarker in sepsis patients.

7. A study published in Cell Chemical Biology found non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to be a potentially effective treatment for sepsis. The researchers screened 1,280 existing drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the ability to inhibit caspase, a family of enzymes that play a key role in aggressive immune responses, like sepsis.

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8. Sepsis accounts for more readmissions than any of the four conditions CMS tracks for reimbursement purposes: heart attack, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia, according to a research letter published in JAMA. For the study, researchers analyzed data from the 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database, which documents acute care hospitalizations from 21 states.

9. Procalcitonin, or PCT, screening on the first day of an intensive care unit patient's admission reduced hospital stays by an average of 1.2 days, as compared to patients who were not screened, according to a new study in CHEST. Researchers examined 15.04 million patient cases of which 730,088 had a potential sepsis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, septicemia or shock-related diagnosis on admission or discharge.

10. A certain type of sugar in the body may restore the ability of cells to respond to infections after sepsis has compromised the immune system, according to a study published in Cell. Researchers introduced beta-glucan into blood samples of subjects with compromised immune systems and the sugar reactivated the immunoresponse of the macrophages.

11. Antibiotics during hospitalization could increase the risk of sepsis following discharge, according to study results presented at the IDWeek 2016 meeting in New Orleans in October. Researchers analyzed adult hospitalization and pharmacy data from the Truven Health MarketScan Hospital Drug Database, 2006-2010. In all, researchers examined 9.4 million adult patient visits.

12. Disinfecting the hospital room environment with an ultraviolet air sterilizer can reduce the occurrence of sepsis and mortality in cardiac surgery patients. Researchers monitored the outcomes of 1,097 patients admitted to ICUs after undergoing cardiac surgery, of which 522 were randomly admitted to an ICU sterilized with UV air purification system. The study results were presented at the 2016 Congress of the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association in Lisbon, Portugal in October.

13. Early detection of sepsis by hospital ward nurses can help reduce the disease's progression and improve survival for patients, a study in Critical Care shows. The study examined the efficacy of an intervention at a community hospital in Norway. There were 472 patients in the pre-intervention group and 409 patients in the post-intervention group.

14. U.K.-based University of Birmingham researchers identified three biomarkers that can be used to accurately predict risk of sepsis for burn patients. The biomarkers are neutrophil function, elevated immature granulocyte count and plasma cell-free DNA as markers indicative of onset of sepsis. The researchers published their findings in Annals of Surgery.


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