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Validation of Adult Sepsis Event and Epidemiologic Analysis of Sepsis Prevalence and Mortality Using Adult Sepsis Event's Electronic Health Records-Based Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Criteria: A Single-Center Study in South Korea.

OBJECTIVES: In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced the Adult Sepsis Event (ASE) definition, using electronic health records (EHRs) data for surveillance and sepsis quality improvement. However, data regarding ASE outside the United States remain limited. We therefore aimed to validate the diagnostic accuracy of the ASE and to assess the prevalence and mortality of sepsis using ASE.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING: A single center in South Korea, with 2732 beds including 221 ICU beds.

PATIENTS: During the validation phase, adult patients who were hospitalized or visiting the emergency department between November 5 and November 11, 2019, were included. In the subsequent phase of epidemiologic analysis, we included adult patients who were admitted from January to December 2020.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: ASE had a sensitivity of 91.6%, a specificity of 98.3%, a positive predictive value (PPV) of 57.4%, and a negative predictive value of 99.8% when compared with the Sepsis-3 definition. Of 126,998 adult patient hospitalizations in 2020, 6,872 cases were diagnosed with sepsis based on the ASE (5.4% per year), and 893 patients were identified as having sepsis according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) (0.7% per year). Hospital mortality rates were 16.6% (ASE) and 23.5% (ICD-10-coded sepsis). Monthly sepsis prevalence and hospital mortality exhibited less variation when diagnosed using ASE compared with ICD-10 coding (coefficient of variation [CV] for sepsis prevalence: 0.051 vs. 0.163, Miller test p < 0.001; CV for hospital mortality: 0.087 vs. 0.261, p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: ASE demonstrated high sensitivity and a moderate PPV compared with the Sepsis-3 criteria in a Korean population. The prevalence of sepsis, as defined by ASE, was 5.4% per year and was similar to U.S. estimates. The prevalence of sepsis by ASE was eight times higher and exhibited less monthly variability compared with that based on the ICD-10 code.

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