The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday released its first report on the global epidemiology and burden of sepsis, estimating that the life-threatening reaction to infection causes 1 in 5 deaths worldwide. Data from 2017 show that sepsis affected 49 million people and was linked to approximately 11 million deaths worldwide—roughly 20% of annual global deaths. The report also reveals that sepsis disproportionately affects children and vulnerable populations living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Twenty million of all estimated sepsis cases worldwide, and 2.9 million deaths, occurred in children under 5 in 2017, while roughly 85% of sepsis cases and related deaths occurred in low-resource settings.

 

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Kevin H. Tierney. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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