Study Reveals Treating Sepsis Quicker Improves Survival

March 23, 2017

Research confirms implementing a three-hour timeframe to treat sepsis is effective for patient survival 

Treating sepsis within an aggressive three-hour timeframe is a key factor in improving survival rates for sepsis and reducing healthcare costs, according to a study published in the journal Critical Care Medicine. The article, “Survival Benefit and Cost Savings From Compliance With a Simplified Three-Hour Sepsis Bundle in a Series of Prospective, Multisite, Observational Cohorts” was published in the March 2017 issue and discusses the important implications of administering treatment in shorter timeframes to reduce fatalities.

Traditionally, best practices focuses on early goal-directed therapy by administering a bundle of treatments in a six-hour window. The study suggested that cutting the timeframe for administering a treatment bundle in half would improve survival for patients. This approach begins with “time zero,” the time at which a patient enters the medical facility, and focuses on using forceful, bundled treatments to prevent further organ injury, all within 180 minutes.

This approach was successfully tested in three groups of medical centers and included nearly 15,000 patients, successfully resulting in fewer sepsis deaths. In addition, implementing bundle treatments in a three-hour timeframe also resulted in lower healthcare costs.

The results of this study suggest that treating sepsis as an urgent and time-sensitive emergency with fatal consequences requires an assertive treatment approach, specifically within a three-hour timeframe to deliver treatments.

The success in reducing sepsis deaths and aggressively treating sepsis as a medical emergency attracted the attention of Sepsis Alliance. Sepsis Alliance is the nation’s leading patient advocacy organization, dedicated to raising the alarm on sepsis and its devastating impact.

“Sepsis is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and studies that support more urgent treatment of people with sepsis is welcome news,” said Thomas Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “This study demonstrates that faster responses when treating patients with sepsis results in fewer deaths and lower healthcare costs, a highly critical and easily replicable finding. Ultimately, raising awareness about sepsis leads to earlier identification and treatment, which saves lives.”

Authors from this study include Daniel E. Leisman, BS; Martin E. Doerfler, MD; Mary Frances Ward, RN, MS, ANP; Kevin D. Masick, PhD; Benjamin J. Wie, BA; Jeanie L. Gribben, BS; Eric Hamilton, BA; Zachary Klein, MS; Andrea R. Bianculli, BS; Meredith B. Akerman, MS; John K. D’Angelo, MD; and Jason A. D’Amore, MD.

About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the nation’s leading sepsis advocacy organization, dedicated to saving lives by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. A 501(c)(3) organization, Sepsis Alliance was founded by Dr. Carl Flatley after the sudden, unnecessary death of his daughter Erin to a disease he had never even heard of. Sepsis Alliance produces and distributes educational materials for patients, families and health providers on sepsis prevention, early recognition and treatment. The organization also offers support to patients, sepsis survivors, and family members through its website which receives more than 1 million visits each year. The organization founded Sepsis Awareness Month in 2011, and works with partners to host community outreach events across North America. Since Sepsis Alliance began its mission, sepsis awareness has increased almost threefold, from 19% to 55%. For more information on Sepsis Alliance, a GuideStar Gold-rated charity, please visit


Critical Care Medicine Journal, March 2017 issue: Survival Benefit and Cost Savings From Compliance With a Simplified 3-Hour Sepsis Bundle in a Series of Prospective, Multisite, Observational Cohorts