Long-Term Survival Following Sepsis

Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2020 Nov 13;117(46):775-782. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2020.0775.


Background: There have not yet been any prospective registry studies in Germany with active investigation of the long-term survival of patients with sepsis.

Methods: The Jena Sepsis Registry (JSR) included all patients with a diagnosis of sepsis in the four intensive care units of Jena University Hospital from January 2011 to December 2015. Long-term survival 6-48 months after diagnosis was documented by asking the treating general practitioners. The survival times were studied with Kaplan-Meier estimators. Cox regressions were calculated to show associations between possible predictors and survival time.

Results: 1975 patients with sepsis or septic shock were included. The mean time of observation was 730 days. For 96.4% of the queries to the general practitioners, information on long-term survival was available. Mortality in the intensive care unit was 34% (95% confidence interval [32; 37]), and in-hospital mortality was 45% [42; 47]. The overall mortality six months after diagnosis was 59% [57; 62], the overall mortality 48 months after diagnosis was 74% [72; 78]. Predictors of shorter survival were age, nosocomial origin of sepsis, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, duration of stay in the intensive care unit, and renal replacement therapy.

Conclusion: The nearly 75% mortality four years after diagnosis indicates that changes are needed both in the acute treatment of patients with sepsis and in their multi-sector long-term care. The applicability of these findings may be limited by their having been obtained in a single center.

MeSH terms

  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis*
  • Shock, Septic*