Education, monitoring can cut sepsis deaths by 40%


Sepsis is one of the most expensive and deadliest hospital-acquired infections, but simple precautions can cut deaths from the condition by nearly half.

Norway’s Levanger Hospital implemented numerous steps to address the problem, such as a special observation chart and heightened training, and cut sepsis mortality rates by 40 percent, according to research published in BioMed Central. Researchers developed a flowchart to help care teams identify sepsis, as early identification is key to proper treatment of the condition. The chart featured severity scores doctors and nurses used to establish triage in the infection ward. The education program, meanwhile, offered written information for doctors and four-hour training courses for nurses and nursing students.

Along with the improved survival rates, these measures also cut serious development of sepsis over the course of patient stays by about 30 percent, while time spent in intensive care fell by an average of nearly four days. The research comes shortly after a new, clarified definition from an international task force that providers hope will reduce infection risk.

“This study suggests that ward nurses have a key function in increasing the survival for patients with serious infection. The use of cost-effective and clear tools for the identification of sepsis and the scoring of severity in patients as well as a standardized treatment course can achieve this,” senior author Erik Solligård, head of the Mid-Norway Centre for Sepsis Research, said an in announcement of the findings. “These simple steps should be implemented in all Norwegian hospitals.”