Fact Sources

Data sources

So you want to know where are figures come from? And quite right too. We’ve provided here information which should satisfy most purposes but if you’d like more detail, just ask! info@sepsistrust.org

UK incidence/ mortality data and comparators

37,000 annual deaths are derived from an extrapolated dataset provided to the UK Sepsis Trust by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) in 2006. The mortality rate for patients admitted to Critical Care with sepsis remains just under 35%, although this has fallen from 40% over the last 10 years.

102,000 cases seen annually in the UK comes from a conservative estimate of incidence derived from studies in other developed countries, including in Finland (Karlsson et al 2007), Spain (Blanco et al 2008) and Europe (Davies et al 2001). More recent estimates, including data to be published by the UK’s Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and from Scandanavia (Henrikson et al 2015) and the U.S (Hall et al 2011), places the estimate closer to 200,000 cases per year with 60,000 deaths.

Data on cancer deaths are sourced from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Costs and estimates of benefit

That each case of sepsis costs a healthcare system in a developed country €25,000 is derived from the European SOAP study (Vincent et al 2006): equating to about £2 billion annually for the UK. That costs can be reduced by the effective delivery of basic care has been demonstrated in our own work (Daniels et al 2011), in North America (Miller et al 2013) and in Spain (Ferrer et al 2008).

These and other studies have demonstrated that the survival rate from sepsis can improve to approximately 80% if the basics of care are delivered reliably. Data from the international Surviving Sepsis Campaign submitted by hospitals in the UK showed that only 14% of patients were receiving such care (Levy et al 2010).

That an additional 12,500 lives can be saved annually in the UK is based upon increasing the reliability of interventions such that 80% of patients receive them: i.e. 80% of 102,000 cases will see their survival rate increase to 80%.

That such improvement will result in a cost saving of £170 million to the NHS is based upon the above studies identifying that patients treated earlier spend on average 3-4 fewer days in hospital, and critically fewer days in costly Intensive Care beds. Bed day expenditure for patients treated quickly is typically £5000 lower. The true burden of sepsis- taking into consideration that many survivors take months to return to normal function especially if intervention is delayed- we have not accounted for.

International data

Claims that there are18 million cases annually worldwide, with 8 million deaths (including 6 million deaths in children) are drawn from a recent systematic review of papers and from work by the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive Care and Critical Care Societies (respectively Fleischmann et al 2015 and Kissoon et al 2011). 8 million deaths annually means about one every 3.5 seconds- or three and a half heartbeats.