Seasonal Variation in the Emergency Department Prevalence Of Sepsis.
The incidence and mortality of sepsis and severe sepsis in hospitalised patients is seasonal and consistently highest during the winter. The primary aim of this study was to measure the seasonal variation in the prevalence of emergency department (ED) patients with sepsis. This cross-sectional study was performed over two four-week periods in the summer and in the winter, respectively. The clinical records of all patients presenting to the ED during the study periods were retrospectively screened to determine if they met the criteria for “uncomplicated” sepsis and severe sepsis or septic shock. The prevalence of “uncomplicated” sepsis was higher in the winter (43.9 per 1000) compared to the summer (30.7 per 1000). The prevalence of severe sepsis or septic shock was also higher in the winter (17.7 per 1000) compared to the summer (11.7 per 1000). This quantitatively demonstrates the increased ED burden of sepsis in the winter that can be used to inform healthcare planning and resource allocation.