Dr. Watson discusses his influential paper demonstrating the national scale of pediatric severe sepsis
Q: What are the key points or highlights of your paper?
A: We found that more than 42,000 children in the US were hospitalized with severe sepsis in 1995, with a mortality rate of 10.3%. The total cost of those hospitalizations was nearly $2 billion. The 4400 children that died in the US after severe sepsis was 7% of all deaths in children that year, and more than the number of children who died with cancer.
Q: Why is your paper influential?
A: When Dr. Derek Angus developed the methodology to identify patients likely to have had severe sepsis using large administrative data sets, it gave us a chance to really begin to understand the epidemiology of this important syndrome across large populations. Our study generated the first large-scale estimates of severe sepsis among children in the US, providing a real sense of its magnitude and the characteristics and outcome of children developing it.
Q: What is next for this type of sepsis research?
A: Of course, we need more effective diagnosis and treatment strategies for severe sepsis. From the clinical epidemiology/health services research perspective, we need to understand how the epidemiology is changing over time, particularly the widespread impact of prevention strategies (e.g., initiatives to decrease hospital-acquired infections, new vaccines), treatment strategies (e.g., early goal-directed therapy, the ACCM sepsis guidelines), and changing patterns of care. Studies using large-scale data sources with more clinical detail than is currently available from administrative data could be extremely useful for understanding the impact of specific elements of care and for planning prospective studies. Finally, we really need to have an understanding of the long-term consequence of severe sepsis and its treatment on children and their families.
Read Dr. Watson’s paper here: AJRCCM. Learn more about CCM’s authors on this paper: Scott Watson, MD, MPH; Joseph Carcillo, MD; Gilles Clermont, MD, MSc; Derek. C. Angus, MD, MPH, FRCP
Download the Sepsis Fact Sheet!
The global fact sheet references three publications from our experts here in CCM!
Angus DC, Linde-Zwirble WT, Lidicker J, Clermont G, Carcillo J, Pinsky MR. Epidemiology of severe sepsis in the United States: analysis of incidence, outcome, and associated costs of care. Crit Care Med, 2001. 29(7): p. 1303-10.
Kissoon N, Carcillo JA, Espinosa V, Argent A, Devictor D, Madden M, Singhi S, van der Voort E, Latour J. World Federation of Pediatric Intensive Care and Critical Care Societies: Global Sepsis Initiative. Pediatr Crit Care Med, 2011. 12(5): p. 494-503.
Angus DC. The lingering consequences of sepsis: a hidden public health disaster? JAMA, 2010. 304(16): p. 1833-4.