Important New Findings in Sepsis

Roger C. Bone, MD
JAMA. 1997;278(3):249. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550030089042.
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In this issue of The Journal, Sands et al1 present important results in an epidemiologic study of sepsis in 8 academic medical centers. The most interesting conclusion is that sepsis occurred in as many as 2 cases per 100 admissions in academic tertiary care centers. This rate is much higher than that found in previous investigations2 and probably results from more complicated cases, a higher incidence of nosocomial infection, and inclusion of non-intensive care unit (ICU) patients. For example, Brun-Buisson et al3 looked at the incidence of sepsis in ICUs in France and found an attack rate of 9% overall and 10.3% in very large institutions. In the study by Sands et al, ICU patients accounted for only 59% of the cases; of the 41% remaining non-ICU patients, 11% had positive blood cultures and 30% had negative blood cultures.

See also p 234.

This analysis also supports


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