Sepsis is a very serious medical condition which is caused by an immune response that happens to an infection. The immune chemicals are released by the body into the blood to combat the infection, but the result is widespread inflammation throughout the entire circulatory system. This often leads to blood vessels which leak and blood clots. A person’s blood has more difficulty flowing and this causes organs to not have their needed oxygen or nutrients.
Facts About Sepsis Mortality Rates
1. In the United States, severe sepsis will occur in more than 1 million people.
2. It is estimated that up to 50% of the people who are diagnosed with severe sepsis will die because of their body’s immune response.
3. The number of deaths from sepsis in the U.S increased from 154,159 in 2000 to 207,427 in 2007.
4. The number of people who die because of sepsis is greater than the number of US deaths from breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS combined.
5. The number of sepsis cases per year has been on the rise in the United States since the year 2000.
6. The mortality rate of sepsis in the UK is estimated to be about 35%, with up to 64,000 people dying from the condition every year.
7. Studies have shown that people who have experienced sepsis have an increased risk of dying, even several years after the episode.
8. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists sepsis as the most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals, costing more than $20 billion in 2011.
9. Absolute mortality in severe sepsis decreased from 35% to 18% from 2000-2012 in a study that covered over 100,000 patients diagnosed with the condition.
10. Fewer than 50% of the general population in any given developed country have never even heard of sepsis before, even though it is more common than a heart attack.
11. As few as 10% of the patients who are diagnosed with sepsis of some level receive care that would be rated as “excellent.”
12. In the developing world sepsis accounts for 60-80% of lost lives per year.
13. More than 6 million newborns are diagnosed with sepsis around the world.
14. 100,000. That’s the number of women who will be diagnosed with sepsis over the course of their pregnancy.
15. The number of times people were in the hospital with sepsis increased from 621,000 in the year 2000 to 1,141,000 in 2008 in the United States.
16. If earlier diagnosis of sepsis were to occur, it would save 92,000 lives and reduce nationwide health care costs by at least $1.5 billion.
17. Recent estimates place the incidence of sepsis requiring an ICU admission of 0.25–0.38 per 1,000 people.
18. It is believed that 20,000 people around the world die every day because of sepsis.
19. A patient entering the hospital with a diagnosis of sepsis is 5x more likely to die than someone being admitted for an acute stroke.
20. The chances of dying from sepsis in the hospital are 10x greater than the chances of dying in the hospital from a heart attack.
21. There is an increase in mortality risk of 7.6% for every hour someone in septic shock does not receive antibiotics and only 12% of patients receive antibiotics within the first hour of diagnosis.
When sepsis is extremely severe, it is very possible for an organ to fail. Blood pressure can dramatically drop and this weakens the heart. Septic shock then begins to occur and other organs will begin to quickly fail. What makes sepsis so difficult to treat is that it can happen suddenly and unpredictably, so people who seem normal and healthy may proceed to sepsis shock rapidly. This is why for ICU patients, it is one of the leading causes of death.
Early Diagnosis Can Help to Treat Sepsis
Knowing the common symptoms of sepsis can help everyone be able to recognize this potentially dangerous condition. The presence of a fever and chills with rapid breathing and a heart rate are often presented with a rash, some level of disorientation, and unusual confusion. The problem is that sepsis symptoms mimic other disease symptoms, so discovering it early is often difficult.
Treatment involves reducing the infection while maintaining blood pressure rates, which is most commonly bacterial in nature. A broad-spectrum antibiotic is often used and sometimes surgery is necessary to clear a local infection. Most people who survive their encounter with sepsis of any severity will recover completely, but those who had a pre-existing condition may experience permanent organ damage.
The developed world has set a goal to reduce sepsis mortality rates over the next decade. The results have so far been promising, but there is still much work to do.