WHAT IS SEPSIS?
Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening reaction to an infection that gets out of control. When spread throughout the body via the bloodstream, it leads to tissue damage organ failure and eventually death. Due to the severity of sepsis and lack of direct treatments, the mortality rates are about 40%, making sepsis the most frequent cause of death in intensive care units of hospitals (Ref. 1).
While sepsis is more common in the very young and older persons, it can affect anyone and can be caused by something as simple as a small cut or start with a seemingly normal sore throat.
A localized primary infection starts overwhelming the immune system of a patient and gains access to the blood circulation.
Sepsis is a global health problem and despite all advances in medicine it remains being one of the leading causes of death. It affects about 19 million people worldwide every year. It is not only an issue in developing countries but also affects people living in the most advanced healthcare systems (Ref. 2 & 3). In the United States alone, Sepsis related cost are about USD 24 billion every year making it the single most expensive disease. From 2003 to 2007 Sepsis cases almost doubled (Ref. 4) and occurrence is expected to rise even more due to a growing number of risk group patients, immunosuppression, and the emergence of multi-resistant pathogens.
(1) Dellinger, R. P.; Levy, M. M.; Rhodes, A.; Annane, D.; Gerlach, H.; Opal, S. M.; Sevransky, J. E.; Sprung, C. L.; Douglas, I. S.; Jaeschke, R.; et al. Surviving Sepsis Campaign: International Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock, 2012. Intensive Care Med. 2013, 39 (2), 165–228.
(2) Elixhauser, A.; Friedman, B.; Stranges, E. Septicemia in U.S. Hospitals, 2009: Statistical Brief #122. In Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Briefs; Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (US): Rockville (MD), 2009.
(3) Engel, C.; Brunkhorst, F. M.; Bone, H.-G.; Brunkhorst, R.; Gerlach, H.; Grond, S.; Gruendling, M.; Huhle, G.; Jaschinski, U.; John, S.; et al. Epidemiology of Sepsis in Germany: Results from a National Prospective Multicenter Study. Intensive Care Med. 2007, 33 (4), 606–618.
(4) Lagu, T.; Rothberg, M. B.; Shieh, M.-S.; Pekow, P. S.; Steingrub, J. S.; Lindenauer, P. K. Hospitalizations, Costs, and Outcomes of Severe Sepsis in the United States 2003 to 2007: Crit. Care Med. 2012, 40 (3), 754–761.