Severe sepsis is common and often fatal, although evidence-based therapies have improved patient outcomes. In recent study, researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin and Orlando Regional Medical Center found that the number of severe sepsis hospitalizations per 100,000 people increased from 143 in 2000 to 343 in 2007. The mean number of organ failures per patient during hospitalization increased from 1.6 to 1.9, although the mean length of hospital stay decreased from 17.3 to 14.9 days, and the mortality rate decreased from 39% to 27%. However, more patients with severe sepsis were discharged to long-term care facilities in 2007 than in 2000. Despite the increasing number of severe sepsis admissions and declining mortality rates, there are more patients being discharged to skilled nursing facilities and in-home care, which warrants increased attention. This article is published online ahead of print in CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: CHEST. doi:10.1378/chest.11-0352.
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