To evaluate the association between total medical contact, prehospital, and emergency department delays in antibiotic administration and in-hospital mortality among patient encounters with community-acquired sepsis.
Retrospective cohort study.
Nine hospitals served by 21 emergency medical services agencies in southwestern Pennsylvania from 2010 through 2012.
All emergency medical services encounters with community acquired sepsis transported to the hospital.
Measurements and Main Results:
Among 58,934 prehospital encounters, 2,683 had community-acquired sepsis, with an in-hospital mortality of 11%. Median time from first medical contact to antibiotic administration (total medical contact delay) was 4.2 hours (interquartile range, 2.7–8.0 hr), divided into a median prehospital delay of 0.52 hours (interquartile range, 0.40–0.66 hr) and a median emergency department delay of 3.6 hours (interquartile range, 2.1–7.5 hr). In a multivariable analysis controlling for other risk factors, total medical contact delay was associated with increased in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio for death, 1.03 [95% CI, 1.00–1.05] per 1-hr delay; p < 0.01), as was emergency department delay (p = 0.04) but not prehospital delay (p = 0.61).
Both total medical contact and emergency department delay in antibiotic administration are associated with in-hospital mortality in community-acquired sepsis.