Objective: Our aim was to determine the frequency and the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of sepsis in a hospital-based population in Colombia.
Design: Prospective cohort.
Setting: Ten general hospitals in the four main cities of Colombia.
Patients: Consecutive patients admitted in emergency rooms, intensive care units, and general wards from September 1, 2007, to February 29, 2008, with confirmation of infection according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions.
Measurements and Main Results: The following information was recorded: demographic, clinical, and microbiologic characteristics; Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores; requirement for intensive care unit; length of stay; and 28-day all-cause mortality. During a period of 6 months, 2,681 patients were recruited: 69% and 31% with community-acquired and hospital-acquired infections, respectively. The mean age was 55 yrs (sd = 21), 51% were female, and the median length of stay was 10 days (interquartile range, 5–19). The mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation score was 11.5 (sd = 7) and the mean Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score was 3.8 (sd = 3). A total of 422 patients with community-acquired infections (16%) were admitted to the intensive care unit as a consequence of their infection and the median length of stay was 4.5 days in the intensive care unit. At admission, 2516 patients (94%) met at least one sepsis criterion and 1,658 (62%) met at least one criterion for severe sepsis. Overall, the 28-day mortality rates of patients with infection without sepsis, sepsis without organ dysfunction, severe sepsis without shock, and septic shock were 3%, 7.3%, 21.9%, and 45.6%, respectively. In community-acquired infections, the most frequent diagnosis was urinary tract infection in 28.6% followed by pneumonia in 22.8% and soft tissue infections in 21.8%. Within hospital-acquired infections, pneumonia was the most frequent diagnosis in 26.6% followed by urinary tract infection in 20.4% and soft tissue infections in 17.4%.
Conclusions: In a general inpatient population of Colombia, the rates of severe sepsis and septic shock are higher than those reported in the literature. The observed mortality is higher than the predicted by the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score.