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.
While we’re moving toward correct and aggressive treatment, sepsis still remains our highest cause of mortality in the ICU.Elizabeth Bridges, RN, PhD, CCNS, AACN board of directors
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.