National Sepsis Audit

The 2013 National Research Collaborative Study

Photo credit: NIAID / Foter / CC BY

In the United Kingdom severe sepsis is estimated to result in 37,000 deaths each year, which represents a greater mortality than that from breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. The resulting economic burden for the National Health Service is considerable, estimated at greater than 2.5 billion pounds annually and consumes up to 50% of critical care resources. Sepsis is also a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among surgical patients with a recent analysis demonstrating that it is approximately ten times more common than peri-operative myocardial infarction or pulmonary embolism. International evidence based guidelines standardising the definition and aiding the diagnosis and management of this condition were developed in 2004 by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign. Application of these recommendations has been associated with a reduction in relative risk of mortality by over a third. Despite this, however, they remain poorly implemented amongst surgical patients. This national audit aims to:

  • Examine the proportion of emergency surgical patients presenting with severe sepsis
  • Establish compliance with the Sepsis Six and Surviving Sepsis Resuscitation Bundles.
  • Establish compliance with Source Control guidelines for patients with severe sepsis.