MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chanu Rhee, MD,MPH
Assistant Professor of Population Medicine
Harvard Medical School / Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute
Assistant Hospital Epidemiologist
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Sepsis is the body’s reaction to a serious infection that results a cascade of inflammation in the body and organ dysfunction, such as low blood pressure, confusion, or failure of the lungs, kidneys, or liver. Sepsis is a major cause of death, disability, and cost in the U.S. and around the world. Growing recognition of this problem has led to numerous sepsis performance improvement initiatives in hospitals around the country. Some of these efforts have also been catalyzed by high-profile tragic cases of missed sepsis leading to death, which may have contributed to a perception that most sepsis deaths are preventable if doctors and hospitals were only better at recognizing it.
However, the extent to which sepsis-related deaths might be preventable with better hospital-based care is unknown. In my own experience as a critical care physician, a lot of sepsis patients we treat are extremely sick and even when they receive timely and optimal medical care, many do not survive. This led myself and my colleagues to conduct this study to better understand what types of patients are dying from sepsis and how preventable these deaths might be. Continue reading