The Epidemiology of Sepsis

  • Hallie C. Prescott


  • The global burden of sepsis is estimated at 19.4 million cases each year and 5.3 million sepsis-related deaths annually. However, this estimate is based on the incidence of hospital-treated sepsis in the developed world and may underestimate the true global burden of sepsis.

  • The incidence of sepsis is rising over time, and there are disparities in incidence by age, gender, comorbidity burden, and socioeconomic status.

  • The most common sites of infection are the lung, abdomen, urinary tract, bloodstream, and skin/soft tissue.

  • About 35–45% of sepsis cases have gram-negative organisms identified, 30–40% have gram-positive organisms identified, and 12–16% have fungal organisms identified. Thirty to forty percent of cases are culture negative, and 20% have multiple pathogens identified.

  • The case-fatality rate is falling, but sepsis survivors are at increased risk for morbidity, recurrent sepsis, and late death.

  • Thirty to forty percent of sepsis survivors are rehospitalized within 90 days, most commonly for recurrent sepsis.


Incidence Case-fatality rate Site Pathogen Organ failure Disparities Comorbid conditions Long-term outcomes Recurrent sepsis 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.VA Center for Clinical Management Research, HSR&D Center of InnovationAnn ArborUSA

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