Background and objective: Severe sepsis is a complex syndrome to define, diagnose and treat. This population-based study describes the epidemiology of sepsis in the Region of Madrid, estimates its incidence and mortality, and assesses its impact on hospital stays and costs.
Patients and methods: The source of information was the Minimum Basic Hospital Data Set from the Region of Madrid in 2001. Severe sepsis cases were defined as discharges with a combination of organic failure and presence or suspicion of infection through a combination of codes previously proposed and utilized. A descriptive study was performed, incidence rates were calculated, lengths of stay and costs were estimated, and mortality was analyzed.
Results: 6,968 episodes were identified. Mean age was 62.5 year. 59.7% were male. Annual incidence was 14.1/10,000 inhabitants, being highest for those 84 and older (230.8/10,000). 1.7 infections per episode were detected. More frequently identified microorganisms were Streptococcus sp., Staphylococcus sp., Escherichia coli and Candida sp. The most frequent organic dysfunctions were renal (39.7%) and respiratory (35.7%). Mortality was 33%. Mortality was higher in cases with more than one organic failure, hepatic dysfunction or cancer. Mean length of stay was 28.9 day. Annual overall costs were 70 million euros.
Conclusions: Severe sepsis is a frequent process, with a high mortality and a significant impact on health care resource utilization.