Failing to complete antisepsis protocols increases mortality rates

When providers do not adhere to antisepsis protocols, they put patients' lives at risk, according to STAT.

Researchers conducted a study of more than 49,000 patients at 149 hospitals in New York to learn about sepsis protocols and how they impact mortality rates.

Here are five points:

1. Clinicians that failed to complete antisepsis protocols increased mortality rates between 3 percent and 4 percent.

2. For the standard 40-year-old patient with septic shock, the study found failure to adhere to these protocols increased mortality rates between 11 percent and 15 percent.

3. This figure jumped to between 29 percent and 38 percent for a 70-year-old patient with septic shock and more than one serious illness.

4. Clinicians who resisted protocols said they contributed to the nation's issue of antibiotic overprescribing.

5. Mervyn Singer, MD, professor of intensive care medicine at University College London, told STAT, the study does not give precise data when septic treatments are required. For instance, 23.6 percent of patients who did not complete treatment programs within three hours died. However, 22.6 percent of patients that completed treatment protocols within three hours died as well.

He told STAT, "I think a three-hour window is reasonable for treating most cases of sepsis, and some may benefit from more aggressive antibiotic treatment. But the idea that every hour makes a difference forces doctors to think they're racing against time. And I'd argue that that three-hour window for some patients makes no difference whatsoever."

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