[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 16, 1997

Important New Findings in Sepsis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Rush Medical College of Rush University, Chicago, Ill.
Dr Bone died June 8. 1997.

JAMA. 1997;278(3):249. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550030089042

In this issue of The Journal, Sands et al1 present important results in an epidemiologic study of sepsis in 8 academic medical centers. The most interesting conclusion is that sepsis occurred in as many as 2 cases per 100 admissions in academic tertiary care centers. This rate is much higher than that found in previous investigations2 and probably results from more complicated cases, a higher incidence of nosocomial infection, and inclusion of non-intensive care unit (ICU) patients. For example, Brun-Buisson et al3 looked at the incidence of sepsis in ICUs in France and found an attack rate of 9% overall and 10.3% in very large institutions. In the study by Sands et al, ICU patients accounted for only 59% of the cases; of the 41% remaining non-ICU patients, 11% had positive blood cultures and 30% had negative blood cultures.

See also p 234.

This analysis also supports