Early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) for severe sepsis/septic shock: which components of treatment are more difficult to implement in a community-based emergency department?

Rory O'Neill, Javier Morales, Michael Jule
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2012, 42 (5): 503-10

BACKGROUND: Early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) has been shown to reduce mortality in patients with severe sepsis/septic shock, however, implementation of this protocol in the emergency department (ED) is sometimes difficult.

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated our sepsis protocol to determine which EGDT elements were more difficult to implement in our community-based ED.

METHODS: This was a non-concurrent cohort study of adult patients entered into a sepsis protocol at a single community hospital from July 2008 to March 2009. Charts were reviewed for the following process measures: a predefined crystalloid bolus, antibiotic administration, central venous catheter insertion, central venous pressure measurement, arterial line insertion, vasopressor utilization, central venous oxygen saturation measurement, and use of a standardized order set. We also compared the individual component adherence with survival to hospital discharge.

RESULTS: A total of 98 patients presented over a 9-month period. Measures with the highest adherence were vasopressor administration (79%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 69-89%) and antibiotic use (78%; 95% CI 68-85%). Measures with the lowest adherence included arterial line placement (42%; 95% CI 32-52%), central venous pressure measurement (27%; 95% CI 18-36%), and central venous oxygen saturation measurement (15%; 95% CI 7-23%). Fifty-seven patients survived to hospital discharge (Mortality: 33%). The only element of EDGT to demonstrate a statistical significance in patients surviving to hospital discharge was the crystalloid bolus (79% vs. 46%) (respiratory rate [RR] = 1.76, 95% CI 1.11-2.58).

CONCLUSION: In our community hospital, arterial line placement, central venous pressure measurement, and central venous oxygen saturation measurement were the most difficult elements of EGDT to implement. Patients who survived to hospital discharge were more likely to receive the crystalloid bolus.

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