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Presentations of adult septic patients in the prehospital setting as recorded by emergency medical services: a mixed methods analysis
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden; Fisksätra Vårdcentral (Primary Health Care Center), Saltsjöbaden, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Örebro University Hospital. Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, ISSN 1757-7241, E-ISSN 1757-7241, Vol. 25, no 1, article id 23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Current sepsis screening tools rely on vital parameters which are, however, normal in one third of patients with serious infections. Therefore, there is a need to include other variables than vital parameters to identify septic patients. Our primary aim was to identify and quantify keywords related to the septic patients' symptom presentation in the prehospital setting. The secondary aims were to compare keywords in relation to in-hospital mortality and the distribution of keywords in relation to age categories, survivors/ deceased and severe/ non-severe sepsis.

Methods: A mixed methods analysis using a sequential exploratory design was performed, starting with a content analysis of presentations of septic patients as documented in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) records (n = 80) from 2012, to identify keywords related to sepsis presentation. Thereafter, the identified keywords were quantified among 359 septic patients from 2013. All patients were adults, admitted to Södersjukhuset and discharged with an ICD-10-code (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision) compatible with sepsis.

Results: The most common keywords related to septic patients' symptom presentation were: abnormal/ suspected abnormal temperature (64.1.%), pain (38.4%), acute altered mental status (38.2%), weakness of the legs (35.1%), breathing difficulties (30.4%), loss of energy (26.2%) and gastrointestinal symptoms (24.0%). There was an association between keywords and in-hospital mortality. Symptoms varied between age categories, survivors/ deceased and severe/ non-severe sepsis.

Discussion: This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first study exploring the symptom presentation as documented by EMS, of septic patients in the prehospital setting. Keywords related to patients´ symptom presentation recurred in the EMS records of septic patients, so that a pattern was discernible. In addition, certain symptom presentations were associated with increased in-hospital mortality CONCLUSIONS: Information relating to symptom presentation is not included in current sepsis screening tools. We suggest that keywords related to patients´ symptom presentation could be integrated into screening tools and may thus increase the identification of sepsis, and potentially also identify high-risk patients. However, as a first step, the specificity of these keywords, with respect to sepsis, needs to be examined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: BioMed Central, 2017. Vol. 25, no 1, article id 23
Keywords [en]
Emergency Care, emergency medical services, prehospital, sepsis
National Category
General Practice Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-56086DOI: 10.1186/s13049-017-0367-zISI: 000395341800001PubMedID: 28253928Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85014304624OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-56086DiVA, id: diva2:1080709
Note

Funding Agencies:

Stockholm city council

Section of Emergency Medicine at Södersjukhuset 

Karolinska Institutet, Södersjukhuset

Fisksätra Vårdcentral (Primary Health Care Center)

Available from: 2017-03-10 Created: 2017-03-10 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Kurland, Lisa

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