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Sepsis: Impact and Urgency

Sepsis and septic shock are medical emergencies affecting millions of people around the world each year and killing as many as one in four. Sepsis is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind only heart disease and cancer, and is the number one killer of children worldwide.

While individuals do fully recover from sepsis, many others are left with long-lasting effects such as missing limbs, organ dysfunction and less obvious impairments such as memory loss, anxiety or depression.

Leading sepsis organizations and initiatives – including the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, World Health Organization and Sepsis Alliance – agree that rapid diagnosis and treatment of sepsis are crucial for improved patient outcomes, and that delayed treatment can lead to death. Some studies estimate an eight percent increase in mortality rate for every hour sepsis treatment is delayed.

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Sepsis by the Numbers

Every two minutes
How often someone in the U.S. dies from sepsis
Patients diagnosed with sepsis who do not survive
Sepsis deaths that could be prevented with rapid diagnosis and treatment
$20 billion+
Average annual acute care in-hospital cost of sepsis in the U.S.

Wisdom From the Frontline

A national expert shares the latest thinking about sepsis.

Key Sepsis Resources

What can we, as nurses, do? Look around your unit and you’re likely to see several patients at risk for or diagnosed with sepsis or septic shock. Do you know how to deliver timely and effective care for them?

Keep up with the latest developments in sepsis treatment with this timely selection of AACN resources, intended to help you deliver the best evidence-based care for patients with sepsis.

Updating Your Practice: The 2017 Sepsis Guidelines

This webinar provides an overview of the latest sepsis definitions and guidelines, with a focus on those guidelines related specifically to nursing care.

Application of Antibiotic Pharmacodynamics and Dosing Principles in Patients with Sepsis

Does critical illness impact the effectiveness of antibiotics you administer? Pharmacists discuss methods of optimizing dosing and administration in patients with sepsis.

Integrating Functional Hemodynamics at the Point of Care

Maintaining adequate perfusion to vital tissues is essential in sepsis care. This webinar shares insights on using functional hemodynamic evaluations at the bedside.

Norepinephrine Dosing in Obese and Nonobese Patients With Septic Shock

This article reports the results of a retrospective study on the effects of weight-based dosing of norepinephrine in septic shock, and questions common assumptions.

Targeting Sepsis as a Performance Improvement Metric: Role of the Nurse

This article offers methods for empowering nurses to implement evidence-based practice guidelines for sepsis though the performance improvement process.

Additional Resources

Access AACN’s complete library of programs and publications on caring for patients with sepsis below. This compilation of resources includes journal articles, webinars and CE activities to improve your understanding of sepsis and enhance your practice.