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Readmissions Among Sepsis Survivors: Risk Factors and Prevention

Goodwin, Andrew, J., MD, MSCR; Ford, Dee, W., MD, MSCR

Clinical Pulmonary Medicine: May 2018 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 - p 79–83
doi: 10.1097/CPM.0000000000000254
Critical Care/Respiratory Care

Hospital readmissions are common and result in increased mortality and cost while reducing quality of life. Readmission rates have been subjected to increasing scrutiny in recent years as part of a larger effort to improve the quality and value of health care in the United States. Emerging evidence suggests that sepsis survivors are at high risk for hospital readmission and experience readmission rates comparable with survivors of congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diseases whose readmission rates determine reimbursement penalties from the federal government. In this article, we review the unique challenges that sepsis survivors face as well as the patient-level and hospital-level risk factors that are known to be associated with hospital readmission after sepsis survival. In addition, we identify the causes and outcomes of readmissions in this population before concluding with a discussion of readmission prevention strategies and future directions.

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

Supported by NIH/NHLBI 1 K23 HL135263-01A1 and NIH/NIGMS 5 R01 GM113995-03 (A.J.G.); The Duke Endowment Foundation and NIH/NIA 5 R01 AG050698-02 (D.W.F.).

Disclosure: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to: Andrew J. Goodwin, MD, MSCR, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, Clinical Sciences Building 816, MSC 630, 96 Jonathan Lucas St., Charleston, SC 29466. E-mail:

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