Purpose: Early recognition and treatment in severe sepsis improve outcomes. However, out-of-hospital patient characteristics and emergency medical services (EMS) care in severe sepsis is understudied. Our goals were to describe out-of-hospital characteristics and EMS care in patients with severe sepsis and to evaluate associations between out-of-hospital characteristics and severity of organ dysfunction in the emergency department (ED).
Materials and methods: We performed a secondary data analysis of existing data from patients with severe sepsis transported by EMS to an academic medical center. We constructed multivariable linear regression models to determine if out-of-hospital factors are associated with serum lactate and sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) in the ED.
Results: Two hundred sixteen patients with severe sepsis arrived by EMS. Median serum lactate in the ED was 3.0 mmol/L (interquartile range, 2.0-5.0) and median SOFA score was 4 (interquartile range, 2-6). Sixty-three percent (135) of patients were transported by advanced life support providers and 30% (62) received intravenous fluid. Lower out-of-hospital Glasgow Coma Scale score was independently associated with elevated serum lactate (P < .01). Out-of-hospital hypotension, greater respiratory rate, and lower Glasgow Coma Scale score were associated with greater SOFA (P < .01).
Conclusions: Out-of-hospital fluid resuscitation occurred in less than one third of patients with severe sepsis, and routinely measured out-of-hospital variables were associated with greater serum lactate and SOFA in the ED.
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