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Septic shock without documented infection: an uncommon entity with a high mortality

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Objectives: To determine whether patients with clinically identified infection have the same outcome as patients with apparent sepsis but no identified infectious source.¶Design: Retrospective analysis of patient data.¶Patients: All patients treated with septic shock in a 31-bed intensive care unit (ICU) over a 3-year period.¶Results: Data from 227 patients were analysed. Eighty-seven percent had a clinically identified source of infection. ICU mortality was higher in septic shock patients without a clinically identified source of infection than in those with an identified source of infection (86 % versus 66 %, p < 0.05).¶Conclusions: A small number of patients presenting with septic shock have no clinically identified infection. These patients have a higher mortality rate than patients in whom an infection is identified.

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Received: 27 January 1999/Accepted: 18 August 1999

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Reyes, W., Brimioulle, S. & Vincent, JL. Septic shock without documented infection: an uncommon entity with a high mortality. Intensive Care Med 25, 1267–1270 (1999).

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