Public Release: 

How common, preventable are sepsis-associated deaths in hospitals?

JAMA Network Open

Bottom Line: This study estimates how common sepsis-related deaths are in hospitals and how preventable those deaths might be. In a retrospective study using medical record reviews of 568 patients who died in six U.S. hospitals or who were discharged to hospice in 2014 or 2015, sepsis was present in more than half (300) of the hospitalizations and directly caused death in more than one-third (198) of cases. Most sepsis-associated deaths occurred in medically complex patients with severe coexisting conditions and most deaths were considered unlikely to have been prevented through better hospital care. These findings suggest that further innovations in the prevention and care of underlying conditions may be necessary before major reduction in sepsis deaths can be achieved. The study was conducted in only six hospitals and may not generalize to all hospitals.

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Authors: Chanu Rhee, M.D., M.P.H., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.8341)

Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

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