ED identification of patients with severe sepsis/septic shock decreases mortality in a community hospital

Am J Emerg Med. 2012 Oct;30(8):1561-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2011.09.029. Epub 2011 Dec 26.


Study objectives: Our objective was to quantify the mortality difference between patients with severe sepsis/septic shock (SS/SS) identified in the emergency department (EDI) vs those not identified in the emergency department (NEDI) within our community hospital.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all patients with SS/SS from July 2007 to January 2010 who were admitted to the intensive care unit within our community hospital. Our primary outcome measure was the difference in mortality rates of patients with SS/SS between the EDI and NEDI cohorts. Our secondary outcome measures included the final disposition, the length of stay, and direct cost (DC) for both groups. The data were analyzed using a 2 × 2 contingency table and the Fisher exact test for significance to compare the mortality rates between groups. Lengths of stay and DC between both groups were reported as medians, and significance was calculated using the Mann-Whitney U test.

Results: A total of 267 patients with SS/SS were identified during the 31-month study period. Of these patients, 155 were EDI patients with a mortality rate of 27.7%, and 112 were NEDI patients with a mortality rate of 41.1%. This represents an absolute difference in mortality rates of 13.4% between the 2 groups (P = .0257). The median length of stay between both groups was 7 days for the EDI group and 12.5 days for the NEDI group, translating to median DCs of $9861.01 vs $16 031.07.

Conclusions: Emergency department identification of patients with SS/SS in the community hospital significantly improves mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitals, Community / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Shock, Septic / diagnosis*
  • Shock, Septic / mortality
  • Statistics, Nonparametric