Epidemiology of Severe Sepsis in Intensive Care Units in the Slovak Republic
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We investigated the number, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of ICU patients, who met precise clinical and physiological criteria for severe sepsis (as defined in the PROWESS study) in Slovak intensive care units. We designed an observational cohort epidemiological study with retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. 12 adult general intensive care units participated in the Slovak Republic between July and December 2002.
Patients and Methods:
Patients included 1,533 adult ICU admissions during the second half of 2002 in 12 adult ICUs. Descriptive statistical methods (independent sample T-test, χ2 test, and linear Pearson coefficient of correlation) were used.
We found that 7.9% of hospitalized critically ill patients met severe sepsis criteria in the intensive care units. The most frequent primary sources of infection were lungs and abdomen. Hospital mortality of severe septic patients was 51.2% (62 pts/121 pts). Most patients (85.1%) were > 40 years of age. Mortality increased with age; mean average age of survivors (53 years) was significantly lower than in nonsurvivors (61 years, p = 0.01). Factors associated with mortality were age over 50 years, three or more dysfunctional organs, and elevated admission and maximum SOFA scores. Survivors had a significantly lower number of sites with organ system dysfunction (MODS 2.56) than nonsurvivors (MODS 3.98). SOFA score seems to be a valuable tool to differentiate survivors from nonsurvivors. All the septic patients had SOFA scores greater than 4 points. Survivors of severe sepsis were characterized with significantly lower admission and maximum SOFA scores (median 8.7 and 9.4 points, respectively) than septic nonsurvivors (median 11.6 and 14.0 points, respectively, p = 0.001).
We estimate 1,770 cases of severe sepsis hospitalized at Slovak adult intensive care units per year. Hospital mortality for severe sepsis remains very high (51.2%) and is associated with advanced age (over 50 years), number of failing organs and higher admission and maximum SOFA scores.
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