Background: Sepsis is a deadly and potentially preventable complication. A better understanding of sepsis in general surgery patients is needed to help direct resources to those patients at highest risk for death from sepsis.
Methods: We identified risk factors for sepsis in general surgery patients by using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project database.
Results: Analysis of the database identified 3 major risk factors for both the development of sepsis and death from sepsis in general surgery patients. These risk factors are age older than 60 years, need for emergency surgery, and the presence of comorbid conditions.
Conclusions: Risk factors for death from sepsis or septic shock in general surgery patients include age older than 60 years, need for emergency surgery, and the presence of preexisting comorbidities. These findings emphasize the need for early recognition through aggressive sepsis screening and rapid implementation of evidence-based interventions for sepsis and septic shock in general surgery patients with these risk factors.