3 ways to improve post-hospitalization sepsis care

Little research exists to inform sepsis patients' care post-hospitalization, according to research published in JAMA.

Medical researchers from the University of Pittsburgh (Pa.) and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor reviewed medical literature, along with studies and clinical trials on sepsis survivorship, to develop an evidence-based approach for managing post-hospitalization sepsis.

"Current treatment guidelines emphasize interventions that reduce short-term mortality, but with little information on strategies to minimize physical disability, cognitive impairment or health deterioration after sepsis," said senior author Derek Angus, MD, MPH, the Dr. Mitchell P. Fink Professor and chair of Pitt’s department of critical care medicine. "We need to focus not only on saving the patient's life, but on ensuring the patient will have the best possible quality of life after leaving the hospital."

After reviewing existing literature and studies, researchers identified the following three strategies to improve care for sepsis patients after hospitalization:

1. Conduct a post-discharge assessment and ensure the patient receives physical, occupational and speech therapy soon after discharge. If any new physical, mental and cognitive problems emerge, quickly refer the patient to receive the appropriate treatment.

2. Review and adjust long-term medications.

3. Evaluate the patient for treatable conditions that commonly cause hospitalization, such as infection or heart failure.

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