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In-hospital ‘sepsis teams’ significantly improve patient care

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Introducing an in-hospital ‘sepsis team’ to an acute trust can significantly improve the outcomes of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock, study results suggest.

As part of a hospital-wide educational programme on sepsis, Italian researchers studied the impact of a dedicated “sepsis team” set up at an Italian hospital in June 2006.

The multidisciplinary team, who are available 24 hours a day, aim to see all patients with severe sepsis within an hour, and all patients with septic shock within 30 minutes.

They consult with medical and nursing staff on issues such as admission to ICU, and also carry out patient interventions, such as inserting central venous lines and providing non-invasive ventilation.

Between January 2005 and June 2006, the in-hospital mortality rate of patients with septic shock was around 80 per cent. But between June 2006 and June 2007 – following activation of the sepsis team - this dropped by half to around 40 per cent.

The ongoing hospital educational programme for all clinical staff, set up in November 2004, also contributed to the decrease in mortality from sepsis by significantly increasing compliance with sepsis guidelines, the researchers said.

Lead study author Massimo Girardis, from the department of anaesthesiology and intensive care at the University Hospital of Modena, Italy, said: “The application of evidence based guidelines for the management of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock is still unsatisfactory.

“We’ve shown that, coupled with increased education, the institution of a specific sepsis team seems to be a key point for providing the adequate management of in-hospital patients,” he added online in the journal Critical Care.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • My mother was sent back to her care home with severe sepsis following an admission where the hospital were orignally talking about 'cleaning out the wound' with surgery. She was re-admitted the following day and later died. I am still awaiting answer as to why she was ever sent home?

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