Ron Daniels Responds to Study on Sepsis Mortality Rates

New research presented at this year’s ESICM LIVES conference (the annual meeting of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine) shows that in rich countries overall, mortality from sepsis has fallen by around a quarter in men since 1985, with a smaller reduction in women. While some countries (namely, Finland, Iceland, Ireland and New Zealand) have made progress, mortality rates continue to rise in others such as Denmark, Greece and Lithuania. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, while there has been progress sepsis rates remain above the global average reported in this study.

Between 1985 and 2015 the sepsis mortality rate in Britain fell from 40 deaths out of every 100,000 women in the population to 35 deaths per 100,000, according to figures to be presented to the annual meeting of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine in Paris on Wednesday.

Among men, the rate fell from 49 to 40 death per 100,000 over the same period.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Imperial College London (ICL) conducted an analysis of 30-year trends in sepsis deaths using the World Health Organisation‘s mortality database.

Dr Ron Daniels’ response is as follows:

“Any opportunity to improve outcomes from sepsis should be an absolute priority for governments, as recommended in the Resolution on Sepsis recently adopted by the WHO. It’s alarming to suppose that, despite all of the attention focused in recent years on sepsis by NHS England and the Department of Health, mortality from sepsis in the UK has reduced by a lesser degree than in some other countries. However, it’s important to note that this study identified patients only by their coded diagnosis- and we know that coding practices for sepsis vary widely and are rarely robust. Whilst this report acts as a useful reminder that continued and resourced action on sepsis must remain a key priority for the NHS, we must remember that the results don’t necessarily mean that outcomes are worse.”