A new analysis presented at the Critical Care Reviews annual meeting in Belfast, has found that the number of people dying from sepsis worldwide is twice as high as previously estimated. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock.com
The study, which was also recently described in The Lancet , found that a disproportionately large number of deaths are occurring among children living in poor areas.
The analysis found that in 2017, there were 48.9 million cases of sepsis worldwide and 11 million deaths – representing one in five deaths worldwide. About sepsis
Sepsis arises when the body’s immune system launches an uncontrolled response to infection and attacks its own organs and tissues, potentially causing life-threatening organ dysfunction and death. Even if sepsis does not cause death, it can leave victims with significant morbidity and life-long disability.
Any contagious pathogen has the potential to cause sepsis, but antimicrobial resistance is a key factor in determining whether a patient responds to treatment and whether sepsis and septic shock develop.
Sepsis may arise as the result of infections acquired in community settings or in healthcare settings. However, healthcare-associated infection is one of the most common adverse events associated with healthcare delivery and accounts for millions of patients affected globally every year. Since the infections have often developed antimicrobial resistance, they can quickly cause debilitating illness . More details about the study findings
Led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Washington School of Medicine, the analysis found that most cases of sepsis – 85% in 2017 – arose in low- or middle-income countries, with the highest burdens reported for sub-Saharan Africa; South, East and Southeast Asia and the South Pacific islands near Australia.
Incidence was higher among females than males and peaked in early childhood, with almost half of cases affecting children under five years of age.
I've worked in rural Uganda, and sepsis is what we saw every single day. Watching a baby die of a disease that could have been prevented with basic public health measures really sticks with you," Kristina Rudd.
Rudd says she participates in sepsis research because she wants to help solve the tragedy, but asks how researchers are supposed to know whether they are making progress if they do not know the size of the problem: "If you look at any top 10 list of deaths globally, sepsis is not listed because it hasn't been counted.” What did the current study involve? Related Stories
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