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Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock in Adults

Clinical scenario

The in-hospital mortality from severe sepsis (30%) and septic shock (50%) remains extremely high. Sepsis is a complex syndrome that is difficult to define, diagnose, and treat. It is a range of clinical conditions caused by the body's systemic response to infection, and is one of the leading causes of death in hospital. Rapid and timely intervention is critical to successful treatment.

Audit question

Are patients presenting with sepsis currently managed appropriately according to best practice guidelines?


Retrospective audit
Sample: 50 consecutive Emergency Department patient records

Inclusion: Patients over 18 years old coded as Sepsis, Infection or shock (Including Hypotension and Infection.)

The internationally agreed definitions of Severe Sepsis/ Septic Shock should be used (see attached documentation).


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1st August 2006

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1st August 2012

1st December 2012

Show Results Over Time


Date Patients Measured Results Standard Regional avg.
01st August 2006 Patients with infection OR sepsis as their primary diagnosis Management according to criteria Documented evidence that blood cultures were obtained prior to antibiotics being administered in the ED 100 % 65 %
Documented evidence that serum lactate measurement obtained prior to leaving the ED 100 % 89 %
Documented evidence that first intravenous fluid bolus (up to 20mls/kg) was given in 75% of cases within 1 hour of arrival 100 % 100 %
Documented evidence that antibiotics were administered in 90% of cases within 2 hours of arrival 100 % 98 %


Audit Bottom Line

Record created on 31st December 2005 by