Recently, research findings, government action, and global public health initiatives have focused new attention on an age-old problem—sepsis, and its related complications.
Sepsis, a diagnosis that dates to ancient Greece, remains a significant public health challenge. A meta-analysis published last year suggests there may be as many as 30 million new cases annually, resulting in more than 6 million deaths worldwide (although the authors admit that these may, in fact, be underestimates, given that they were unable to obtain data from poorer countries, where the vast majority of the world’s population lives). Here in the United States, septicemia is still one of the most common diagnoses which result in hospital stays. Data collected for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), and posted in June 2017, indicates that hospital stays related to septicemia increased from 518,000 in 2005 to 1.514 million in 2014 (accounting for 4.3% of hospital stays)—an increase of 192.3%.