Objective: To determine the prevalence of status epilepticus, associated factors, and relationship with in-hospital mortality in primary admissions of septic patients in the United States.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Primary admissions of adult patients more than 18 years old with a diagnosis of sepsis and status epilepticus from 1988 to 2008 identified through the Nationwide Inpatient Sample.
Participants: A total of 7,669,125 primary admissions of patients with sepsis.
Results: During the 21-year study period, the prevalence of status epilepticus in primary admissions of septic patients increased from 0.1% in 1988 to 0.2% in 2008 (p < 0.001). Status epilepticus was also more common among later years, younger admissions, female gender, Black race, rural hospital admissions, and in those patients with organ dysfunctions. Mortality of primary sepsis admissions decreased from 20% in 1988 to 18% in 2008 (p < 0.001). Mortality in status epilepticus during sepsis decreased from 43% in 1988 to 28% in 2008. In-hospital mortality after admissions for sepsis was associated with status epilepticus, older age, and Black and Native American/Eskimo race; patients admitted to a rural or urban private hospitals; and patients with organ dysfunctions.
Conclusion: Our analysis demonstrates that status epilepticus after admission for sepsis in the United States was rare. Despite an overall significant reduction in mortality after admission for sepsis, status epilepticus carried a higher risk of death. More aggressive electrophysiological monitoring and a high level of suspicion for the diagnosis of status epilepticus may be indicated in those patients with central nervous system organ dysfunction after sepsis.