Only 58% of American adults have ever heard the word sepsis
. Although this is more than previous years, that leaves many who still don’t know what it is.
In a study released in 2011, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project
(H-CUP) identified 836,000 hospital discharges in 2009 where septicemia was a principal diagnosis, and 829,500 discharges where septicemia was a secondary diagnosis. The in-hospital mortality rates for each were 16.3% and 14.7%, respectively, totalling 258,204 deaths per year directly attributable to sepsis.
With more than 258,000 lives being lost per year, sepsis ranks as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. (after heart disease and cancer). Using data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), sepsis would rank higher than chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and accidental deaths.
The same H-CUP report
identified that there are more than 1.6 million cases of sepsis every year and survivors often face long-term effects post-sepsis, including amputations, anxiety, memory loss, chronic pain and fatigue, and more. Almost 60% of sepsis survivors experience worsened cognitive (mental) and/or physical function.
Many sepsis survivors also require rehospitalization. Over 62%
of people who had a primary diagnosis of sepsis (the reason why they were hospitalized in the first place) who had to be readmitted to the hospital were rehospitalized within 30 days of first leaving the hospital. And among children, almost half
who have had severe sepsis end up being hospitalized again. Sepsis is also the most expensive in-hospital condition in the U.S., costing more than $20 billion
each year counting just acute care in-hospital costs.