Sepsis contributes to as many as half of all hospital deaths in the United States each year, many of them preventable, according to a recent study by Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
Sepsis, which is sometimes called a blood infection, is the body’s out-of-whack inflammatory response to an infection. Its symptoms can include a high fever or low temperature, elevated heart rate and difficulty breathing. Early recognition is key to treating it.
As Rocky Mountain PBS I-News reported last week from a sepsis conference at University of Colorado Hospital, some 12,000 Coloradans are expected to get sepsis this year, according to Dr. Judy Zerzan, the state’s chief medical officer. Around 3,000 of those infected will die.
The average sepsis mortality rate in Colorado is 21 percent.
Sepsis Alliance is working to teach patients, doctors and nurses to “Suspect Sepsis.” With early recognition, sepsis can be treated with fluids and antibiotics.
Without early treatment, sepsis can progress quickly.
“Pretty much a vast majority of the people who come to the hospital will have some risk factor,” says Tara Crockett of Medical Simulation Corporation, a company that helps healthcare facilities improve their performance.
Finding it requires “being a detective,” she said.
Sepsis Death Rate at Front Range Hospitals from 2010 to 2012
|Exemple Good Samaritan||9.9%|
|Exempla Saint Joseph||11.9%|
|Banner Health McKee||13.6%|
|North Colorado Medical Center||13.8%|
|Penrose-St. Francis Hospital||15.7%|
|Exempla Lutheran Medical Center||15.9%|
|University of Colorado Hospital||18.7%|
|Sky Ridge Medical Center||19.4%|
|Medical Center in Longmont||20.0%|
|Rose Medical Center||20.0%|
|Medical Center of Aurora||20.4%|
|St. Anthony Hospital||20.8%|
|North Suburban Medical Center||21.2%|
|Parkview Medical Center||21.7%|
|Littleton Adventist Hospital||21.7%|
|St. Anthony North Hospital||22.2%|
|Porter Adventist Hospital||23.6%|
|St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center||24.6%|
|Poudre Valley Hospital||25.2%|
|Medical Center of the Rockies||25.2%|
|Swedish Medical Center||25.8%|
|Platte Valley Medical Center||28.4%|