Epidemiology, recognition and documentation of sepsis in the pre-hospital setting and associated clinical outcomes: a prospective multicenter study: a prospective multicenter study

Nadia Alam, Kirtiedevi B. N. S Doerga, Tahira Hussain, Sadia Hussain, Frits Holleman, Mark H. H. Kramer, Prabath W. B. Nanayakkara

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General practitioners (GPs) and the emergency medical services (EMS) personnel have a pivotal role as points of entry into the acute care chain. This study was conducted to investigate the recognition of sepsis by GPs and EMS personnel and to evaluate the associations between recognition of sepsis in the pre-hospital setting and patient outcomes. Methods Design: prospective, observational study during a 12 week period in the emergency department (ED) of two academic hospitals. Patients >18 years presenting with sepsis at the ED. The information available in the ED discharge letter and the ED charts was used to make a definite diagnosis of sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock Outcome measures: primary: recognition/documentation of sepsis. Secondary: ED arrival time to antibiotic administration, in-hospital mortality, hospital length of stay (LOS) and intensive care unit (ICU) admission. A total of 301 patients were included in the study. GPs and EMS personnel correctly identified and documented 31.6% (n=114) and 41.4% of all sepsis patients (n=140) respectively. Recognition and documentation of sepsis improved with increasing severity. The mean time to administration of antibiotics (TTA) was nearly halved for the group of patients where sepsis was documented (GP: 66,4 minutes, EMS: 65,6 minutes) compared to the group in which sepsis was not documented (GP: 123,9 minutes, EMS: 101,5 minutes; p: 0.365 and p: 0.024 respectively). Conclusions There is room for improvement in the recognition of sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock by practitioners working in the pre-hospital setting. Documentation of sepsis prior to arrival in hospital led to a reduced time delay in administration of antibiotics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
JournalAcute Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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