Sepsis: Clinical Approach, Evidence-Based at the Bedside

  • F. J. Hurtado
  • M. Buroni
  • J. Tenzi


Sepsis is a common disease in intensive care medicine representing almost one third of patient admissions. Its incidence has substantially increased over the past decades and overall mortality has declined during this period of time. It was reported that sepsis incidence increased from 82.7 to 240.4 per 100,000 population between 1979–2000. At the same time, sepsis global mortality decreased from 27.8 to 17.9% [1, 2, 3]. However, the absolute number of deaths significantly increased from 21.9 to 43.9 per 100,000 population. Male gender, some chronic diseases like diabetes, immunosuppressive states, human immunodeficiency virus infections, and malignancies are factors that increase the risk for sepsis. Some particular conditions like progressive number of organ dysfunctions, in-hospital-acquired infections and increasing age are associated with higher risk of death [1,4]. On the other hand, septic shock mortality only diminished from 61.6 to 53.1% [5]. This slight decline in mortality observed during recent decades could be attributable to improvements in supportive care and/or avoidance of iatrogenic complications. For example, the instrumentation of early goal resuscitation protocols not aiming at supranormal targets for cardiac output and oxygen delivery, and the use of lung protective strategies could explain at least in part this favorable change. Other strategies directed to treat the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the septic process like recombinant human-activated protein-C (rhAPC), have also contributed to improve survival. However, mortality remains unacceptably high and further improvement in sepsis management is needed.


Septic Shock Severe Sepsis Septic Patient Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Intensive Insulin Therapy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. J. Hurtado
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Buroni
    • 1
  • J. Tenzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Intensive Care Medicine Unit, Hospital Español “Juan J. Crottogini”ASSEMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Department of Pathophysiology, School of MedicineUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay

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