Sepsis is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. There is a paucity of data describing the epidemiology of sepsis in emergency centres in developing countries. This study aims to describe the clinical profile and management of patients presenting with sepsis in this setting.
A retrospective chart review was conducted in an Emergency Centre (EC) of a district hospital in Durban from December 2015 to February 2016. All patients with a diagnosis of an infection that met the Surviving Sepsis Campaign criteria for sepsis syndrome were included in the study.
A total of 1195 patients who were diagnosed with an infection were screened. Of these, 52 of them met the inclusion criteria for the study. The criteria for severe sepsis was met in 40.3% (n 23) and 1.9% (n 1) met the criteria for septic shock. More than half of the patients were HIV positive and 30.7% did not know their HIV status. The most common sites of infection were respiratory tract, gastrointestinal and central nervous system respectively. Most patients were admitted to the general medical ward. The inpatient mortality rate was 15% for general medical ward admissions.