2 - Qatar Critical Care Conference Proceedings
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • EISSN: 2227-0426


Background: Sepsis has been identified as a time critical and life-threatening condition resulting from the body's own systemic response to infection leading to multi-organ dysfunction and failure, and remains a major frontrunner in the morbidity and mortality of critically ill patients1–3. The 2016 Surviving Sepsis Campaign1 identified that similar to patients with polytrauma, stroke and acute myocardial infarction, the early identification and timeous delivery of appropriate treatment for patients with sepsis could improve patient outcomes and decrease mortality rates1,4. Prehospital sepsis screening tools could provide a systematic approach to critically ill patients in order to identify those patients with a high index of suspicion for sepsis and allow for early and aggressive management.

Methods: A literature review was conducted for the period January 2011 to September 2017. A database search was conducted via the electronic databases Ovid MEDLINE (without revisions), CINAHL and The Cochrane Library. The websites ScienceDirect, Wiley Online Library, British Medical Journal (BMJ) and Google Scholar were also used in the search for literature. Full search strategies are detailed in Table 1. The selection and rejection of all articles can be reviewed in Figure 1.

Results: All articles identified for full review (n = 13) were between the period January 2011 and September 2017. The three most common methodologies identified were systematic review (n = 3), prospective cohort study (n = 3) and prospective observational study (n = 3). Other methodologies included literature review (n = 1), retrospective cohort study (n = 1), retrospective analysis (n = 1), and retrospective cross-sectional study (n = 1). Through literature analysis, three main areas of interest were identified in which articles were reviewed: the early recognition of sepsis by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff (n = 2), the early recognition of sepsis using a prehospital sepsis screening tool by EMS (n = 6), and the impact of EMS sepsis recognition and management on patient outcomes (n = 4). A comparison summary of the various sepsis screening tools can be viewed in Table 2.

Conclusion: Previous literature has described EMS transport rates of approximately 3.3 sepsis patients per 100 and approximately 40% of septic patients admitted having been transported by EMS5. Despite this relatively high prevalence, the review identified that recognition of sepsis by EMS personnel was poor. The use of various sepsis screening tools showed improved recognition by EMS but validation studies on the accuracy of these tools is required. In patients in whom a screening tool was used and early pre-notification given to receiving facilities, a decrease time to definitive management of these patients was identified. These varied findings in outcomes of septic patients transported by EMS identifies the need for further studies on EMS recognition of sepsis and the impact it has on the outcomes of these patients. A specific prehospital sepsis screening tool could possibly assist in the early recognition of sepsis. Pre-notification to receiving facilities could allow the facility to prepare for EMS arrival and continue aggressive early goal directed therapy (EGDT) as required.

The author acknowledges the possibility of publication and selection bias within this review due to single author selection and only English studies being included.


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  • Article Type: Conference Abstract
Keyword(s): diagnosisprehospitalscreening tools and sepsis
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