The Prevalence of Severe Sepsis or Septic Shock in an Irish Emergency Department.
Severe sepsis and septic shock are among the leading causes of death globally. Despite the central role the emergency department (ED) plays in the early identification of patients presenting to hospital with sepsis, the prevalence of severe sepsis and septic shock in the Irish ED setting has not been described. The primary aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of severe sepsis or septic shock in an Irish adult ED setting. The clinical records of patients presenting to the ED over a four-week period were retrospectively reviewed to determine if they met the current Health Service Executive (HSE) criteria for severe sepsis or septic shock. Overall, 3,585 adult patients attended the ED during the study period, with 42 patients meeting the criteria for severe sepsis or septic shock. The ED prevalence of severe sepsis or septic shock was 11.7 patients (95% CI 8.1 – 15.4%) per 1000 ED attendances.