Sepsis infection either acquired within the hospital or on its own is a problem that hospitals have to battle annually.
But one hospital in Minnesota has found a way to manage it. Regions Hospital announced Wednesday that several initiatives launched in 2005 have led to a more than 60 percent drop in sepsis mortality from 33 percent to 12 percent of all sepsis patients in 2011.
The success is leading the hospital to expand a pilot program introduced in the emergency room in November to other areas within the hospital. The goal is to reduce the menace that is sepsis even further. Through this rapid intervention program, sepsis alerts are created in the electronic medical alerts of patients if two or more vital signs are abnormal. That helps doctors follow the evidence-based guidelines for treating sepsis, which include administering antibiotics within three hours of ER admission, testing lactate levels and obtaining blood cultures.
Such rapid intervention programs can help to ensure quick treatment given that sepsis is hard to diagnose in the early stages because some symptoms such as rapid breathing and pulse quickening can actually indicate other conditions.