Sepsis: The Number One Cause of Death in ICUs in the United States

1180 Words Feb 3rd, 2018 5 Pages
More than 750,000 cases of sepsis occur each year and about one third of those patients die from it (McKinney, 2014; Ulloa, 2011). Sepsis is a serious condition that is a result of an inflammatory response to infection that can damage organs if left untreated. Severe sepsis occurs when the infection leads to organ dysfunction. Septic shock is when multiple organ failure occurs due to infection and is worse than sepsis and severe sepsis.
The number of documented cases has been rising every year. “This may be due to the aging population, the increased longevity of people with chronic disease, the spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms, an upsurge in invasive procedures and broader use of immunosuppressive and chemotherapeutic agents” (National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 2014). The mortality rate for sepsis ranges from about thirty percent for patients with sepsis to fifty percent in patients who develop septic shock. Mortality rate varies as to how many organs have been affected. Twenty percent mortality for one organ failure, forty percent for two organs failing, sixty-five to seventy percent for three failed organs, and seventy-five to eighty-five percent when four or more organs have failed. The cost related to sepsis is about seventeen billion dollars per year (about twenty-two thousand dollars per patient), which is six times greater than the cost of patients without sepsis.