Doctors are capable of judging #sepsis severity, say Boston, Israeli researchers

A new study looks at how well IM docs can judge the severity of sepsis, an immune response to infection that can be mild and can be fatal.

Internists can discriminate well between septic patients with good, intermediate, and bad prognosis. Key messages Many patients suffering from sepsis are treated at general medical departments. Good estimation of the severity of disease upon admission is critical for decision-making regarding treatment. Internists including junior staff could discriminate well between patients with different degrees of disease severity of sepsis.

Three recent columns explain why this is important. Aimed at a hospital audience, they are of interest to all.

Sepsis is underrecognized:

A lot of people—both inside and outside of hospitals—don’t know what is it, how to recognize it, or even how to define it.

And not only, as the CDC acknowledges, is the condition life-threatening, costly, “difficult to predict, diagnose, and treat,” but no one sector of the health system owns it.

That makes sepsis exceptionally challenging.


“Whereas stroke is province of a neurologist and trauma is the province of a surgeon and asthma is the province of an pulmonologist, sepsis involves the emergency room, the acute patient floor, the infectious diseases practitioner, the ICU, and the surgeon,” says Martin Doerfler, MD, senior vice president of clinical strategy and development at North Shore-LIJ Health System (soon to be renamed Northwell Health) in New York.” [Sepsis] really falls through the cracks, and that is part of the problem.”

Diagnostic errors often go unrecognized: Part 1 and Part 2.



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