Author(s): Shapiro NI, Howell M, Talmor D
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Abstract Despite numerous advances in medicine, sepsis remains an unconquered challenge. Although outcomes have improved slightly over decades, the unacceptably high mortality rate of 30\%-50\% for severe sepsis and septic shock continues. However, after years of unsuccessful clinical trials, several investigations over the last few years have reported survival benefit in the treatment of sepsis. Physicians now have several proven therapies to treat sepsis, but have yet to implement them on a widespread, systematic basis. This led 11 international professional societies spanning multiple specialties and continents to come together to create the Surviving Sepsis Campaign. The product of their work is an international effort organized to improve care of patients with sepsis and includes consensus, evidence-based guidelines for care that improves survival in septic patients, and an action plan for change. Given the clear role of early identification and treatment in stopping the sepsis cascade, therapy must start early in the emergency department (ED) and continue throughout the hospital course. The first of the recommendations by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign is the aggressive resuscitation strategy of early goal-directed therapy (EGDT). EGDT is reported to reduce absolute mortality by a staggering 16\%. The use of recombinant activated protein C was demonstrated to confer a 6\% absolute survival benefit. Steroid supplementation in adrenal insufficiency produced a 10\% benefit. Additionally, early and appropriate use of antibiotics remains a cornerstone of therapy. Although no randomized trial will be performed, the effects are undisputed. Finally, although predominantly intensive care unit therapies, tight glucose control and low-tidal-volume ventilation strategies have also led to improved survival. Armed with these new therapies, the medical community must rise to this call to action. Clinicians must change the approach to this disease, as well as the way the septic patient is viewed. Although complex and challenging, these therapies must be brought to the patient's bedside. We propose and describe the Multiple Urgent Sepsis Therapies (MUST) protocol as a practical way to implement a comprehensive treatment plan using available evidence-based therapies.
This article was published in Acad Emerg Med
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology