Figures released by the HSE show that 1 in 5 patients who contract sepsis die, despite the HSE finding that there had been a 30% decrease in sepsis related mortality.
The National Sepsis Report for 2016 was launched yesterday by Health Minister Simon Harris.
The report outlines that 14,804 contracted sepsis last year, 67% more cases than in 2015. One in five of the 14,804 patients passed away. 41% of the patients who had developed septic shock passed away.
Sepsis patients occupy over 300,000 bed days with an average length of stay of 20 days.
Although sepsis only affects 3.4% of hospital inpatients – it contributes to 25% of in-hospital deaths.
The biggest variable for sepsis is age, according to the HSE.
Those in the “extremes of age” are most vulnerable, with children under one being at an increased risk due to their immature immune system. Likewise, patients over the age of 75 with existing conditions are also at risk, with one in five passing away.
Part of the report concerns Saolta University Health Care Group, which Letterkenny University Hospital is a member of.
The report says that Saolta has an Early Warning Score and Sepsis Committee that oversee the implementation of the National Clinical Guidelines on Sepsis Management and works closely with individual hospital Sepsis Committees.
All Saolta medical, nursing, and midwifery staff have to complete a mandatory National Sepsis programme in order to practice.
Figures concerning LUH and the six other hospitals within the group reveal that between 2015 and 2016, the number of cases of sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock rose by 42% – however the crude mortality rate for these cases fell by 31% in the same period.
Furthermore the National Maternal Sepsis form that was piloted in maternity units of Saolta hospitals earlier this year remained in the units after the pilot ended.