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ORLANDO, Fla. -- An international coalition of critical care specialists has unveiled the first-ever global guidelines for the aggressive identification, management and treatment of sepsis, a widespread bloodstream infection that kills more than 1,400 people each day and costs the U.S. economy approximately $17 billion each year.
The Surviving Sepsis Campaign, created by the European Society of
Intensive Care Medicine, the International Sepsis Forum, and the Society of
Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) to raise awareness and reduce mortality related
to sepsis, released the guidelines at SCCM's 33rd Annual Congress
yesterday, Feb. 24, 2004. The campaign is urging doctors, governments and health agencies worldwide to adopt the practices outlined in the guidelines, which include
early and aggressive monitoring of a patient's vital signs.
The guidelines encourage the practice of Early Goal Directed Therapy
(EGDT), developed by Dr. Emanuel Rivers of Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, as a
way to aggressively manage and treat sepsis. A November 2001 study published
in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that early monitoring of a
patient's oxygen saturation (ScvO2), in conjunction with other hemodynamic
parameters, was instrumental in managing patients with severe sepsis and
septic shock. In the New England Journal of Medicine study, Rivers used a
central venous oximetry catheter as part of an EGDT protocol that resulted in
a 34 percent lower in-hospital mortality rate, less severe organ dysfunction,
and a 3.8 day reduction in average hospital stays for patients surviving to
discharge. Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, a global leader in
medical technologies to treat advanced cardiovascular disease and the world's
leader in hemodynamic monitoring, developed the PreSep catheter that is being
used in the EGDT protocol.
"The Surviving Sepsis Campaign's efforts to spread awareness of sepsis and
establish global guidelines for its management are critical to saving
thousands of lives each year," said Anita B. Bessler, Edwards' corporate vice
president of global franchise management. "We believe implementation of Early
Goal Directed Therapy could reduce the number of deaths from sepsis by as much
as 25 percent in the next five years."
Severe sepsis, the spread of an infection to the bloodstream resulting in
abnormal blood oxygen levels, and its severest form, septic shock, are among
the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the SCCM,
severe sepsis is the leading cause of death in non-coronary intensive care
units and claims more lives than breast, colon/rectal, pancreatic, and
prostate cancer combined. There are more than 750,000 estimated cases in the
U.S. each year, and the incidence of sepsis is expected to continue
increasing. The condition is believed to affect as many as 18 million people
worldwide each year.
Treating severe sepsis has been estimated to cost as much as $17 billion
in the U.S. annually. The average severely septic U.S. patient is
hospitalized for 19.6 days, at an average cost of $22,100. According to the
Rivers study, EGDT's 3.8 day reduction in average hospital stays for patients
surviving to discharge could significantly reduce healthcare costs by as much
as $12,000 per patient.
Source: Edwards Lifesciences Corporation