Finally in the news this week is a look at how sepsis is related to morbidity and mortality for our hospitalized patients. I found an article over at HealthDay.com looking at a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the prevalence of sepsis in hospital patients and its place as a cause of death. According to the report presented at the annual meeting recently of the American Thoracic Society, while sepsis accounts for 10% of hospitalized patients it causes more than 50% of the hospital deaths.

Sepsis a Hot Topic for Nurses

Medical-Professional-Nurse-MaskWe’ve talked about sepsis several times recently here on the Nursing Show including a recent set of interviews from the AACN critical care nurses conference in Denver. We also recent had nurse Jonner Lowe on the show for a two-part segment on sepsis and how his hospital system has implemented a “Code Sepsis” program in their critical care units at Carolinas Healthcare System.

The CDC looked at sepsis and found that if affects as many as 750,000 patients in the U.S. each year. Of these patients, over 100,000 die from sepsis annually. Fighting these infections is both difficult and expensive outlining the need for prevention and early recognition of onset. Prevention is, of course, the first line of defense requiring healthcare professionals like nurses to be vigilant for sources of infection in the hospital.

If an infection does occur, early recognition can often get ahead of the process before full blown septic shock sets in. As we’ve said in the recent articles here on the Nursing Show, nurses are the key frontline players in the process of preventing and recognizing sepsis and infection. Take this responsibility seriously and make sure you are up to date on what your facility is doing and what are current best practices everywhere to combat this problem.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Clinical Scene Investigator Nurse Leader Rachel Culpepper and Episode 299.

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