Reducing Deadly Sepsis
Sepsis is the leading cause of mortality in non-coronary intensive care hospital units—but the Kaiser Sepsis Reduction Initiative is proving that something can be done to prevent these deaths.
Sepsis is the body’s reaction to systemic bacterial infection. Approximately 750,000 cases of severe sepsis occur annually in North America, and almost 40 percent of severe sepsis deaths are estimated to be preventable if sepsis is identified and treated early with specific evidence-based clinical practices. Despite the high death rate from sepsis, these clinical practices are not consistently implemented by hospitals and patients have not been routinely screened for sepsis when they come to emergency rooms.
A grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has enabled Kaiser Foundation Hospitals to put these recommended practices in place and to dramatically reduce the number of patients dying from sepsis in their hospitals. The program ensures timely identification of septic patients in the emergency room and administration of the recommended clinical treatments for patients with severe sepsis. Since the program began five years ago, there has been a 50 percent reduction in sepsis mortality rates in 12 northern California Kaiser Hospitals and Kaiser has been recognized as a national leader in addressing this important patient care issue.