One year mortality of patients treated with an emergency department based early goal directed therapy protocol for severe sepsis and septic shock: a before and after study

Crit Care. 2009;13(5):R167. doi: 10.1186/cc8138. Epub 2009 Oct 21.


Introduction: Early structured resuscitation of severe sepsis has been suggested to improve short term mortality; however, no previous study has examined the long-term effect of this therapy. We sought to determine one year outcomes associated with implementation of early goal directed therapy (EGDT) in the emergency department (ED) care of sepsis.

Methods: We performed a longitudinal analysis of a prospective before and after study conducted at a large urban ED. Adult patients were enrolled if they had suspected infection, 2 or more systemic inflammatory response criteria, and either systolic blood pressure (SBP) <90 mmHg after a fluid bolus or lactate >4 mM. Exclusion criteria were: age <18 years, no aggressive care desired, or need for immediate surgery. Clinical and outcomes data were prospectively collected on consecutive eligible patients for 1 year before and 2 years after implementing EGDT. Patients in the pre-implementation phase received non-protocolized care at attending physician discretion. The primary outcome was mortality at one year.

Results: 285 subjects, 79 in the pre- and 206 in the post-implementation phases, were enrolled. Compared to pre-implementation, post-implementation subjects had a significantly lower ED SBP (72 vs. 85 mm Hg, P < 0.001) and higher sequential organ failure assessment score (7 vs. 5, P = 0.0004). The primary outcome of 1 year mortality was observed in 39/79 (49%) pre-implementation subjects and 77/206 (37%) post-implementation subjects (difference 12%; P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Implementation of EGDT for the treatment of ED patients with severe sepsis and septic shock was associated with significantly lower mortality at one year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Shock, Septic / mortality*
  • Shock, Septic / therapy*