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      Evaluation of recombinant activated protein C for severe sepsis at a tertiary academic medical center

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          Early clinical trials of recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC) for severe sepsis excluded patients at high risk of bleeding. Recent literature suggests bleeding rates are higher in clinical practice and may be associated with worsened outcomes. Our objective was to evaluate baseline demographics; incidence, and risk factors for major bleeding; and mortality of patients receiving rhAPC for severe sepsis at our institution.


          A retrospective study was performed for all patients receiving rhAPC for treatment of severe sepsis at a tertiary academic medical center from January 2002 to June 2009. Demographic information, clinical variables, intensive care unit, and hospital outcomes were recorded.


          Of the 156 patients that received rhAPC, 54 (34.6%) did not meet institutional criteria for safe use at baseline due to bleeding precaution or contraindication. Twenty-three (14.7%) patients experienced a major bleeding event. Multivariate analysis demonstrated baseline International Normalized Ratio ≥2.5 (odds ratio [OR] 3.68, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.28–10.56; P = 0.03) and platelet count ≤100 × 10 3/mm 3 (OR 2.86, 95% CI: 1.07–7.67; P = 0.01) as significant predictors of a major bleed. Overall hospital mortality was 57.7%. Multivariate analysis demonstrated the presence of ≥3 organ dysfunctions (OR 2.46, 95% CI: 1.19–5.09; P < 0.05) and medical intensive care unit admission (OR 1.99, 95% CI: 1.00–3.98; P = 0.05) were independent variables associated with hospital mortality.


          Patients receiving rhAPC at our institution had higher APACHE II scores, mortality, and major bleeding events than published postmarketing studies. Risk factors for major bleeding other than package-labeling contraindications and bleeding precautions were identified in our patient population.

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          Most cited references 27

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          The Surviving Sepsis Campaign: results of an international guideline-based performance improvement program targeting severe sepsis.

          The Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC or "the Campaign") developed guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock. A performance improvement initiative targeted changing clinical behavior (process improvement) via bundles based on key SSC guideline recommendations. A multifaceted intervention to facilitate compliance with selected guideline recommendations in the intensive care unit, emergency department, and wards of individual hospitals and regional hospital networks was implemented voluntarily in the United States, Europe, and South America. Elements of the guidelines were "bundled" into two sets of targets to be completed within 6 hrs and within 24 hrs. An analysis was conducted on data submitted from January 2005 through March 2008. A total of 15,022 subjects. Data from 15,022 subjects at 165 sites were analyzed to determine the compliance with bundle targets and association with hospital mortality. Compliance with the entire resuscitation bundle increased linearly from 10.9% in the first site quarter to 31.3% by the end of 2 yrs (p < .0001). Compliance with the entire management bundle started at 18.4% in the first quarter and increased to 36.1% by the end of 2 yrs (p = .008). Compliance with all bundle elements increased significantly, except for inspiratory plateau pressure, which was high at baseline. Unadjusted hospital mortality decreased from 37% to 30.8% over 2 yrs (p = .001). The adjusted odds ratio for mortality improved the longer a site was in the Campaign, resulting in an adjusted absolute drop of 0.8% per quarter and 5.4% over 2 yrs (95% confidence interval, 2.5-8.4). The Campaign was associated with sustained, continuous quality improvement in sepsis care. Although not necessarily cause and effect, a reduction in reported hospital mortality rates was associated with participation. The implications of this study may serve as an impetus for similar improvement efforts.
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            Effectiveness of treatments for severe sepsis: a prospective, multicenter, observational study.

            Several Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines recommendations are reevaluated. To analyze the effectiveness of treatments recommended in the sepsis guidelines. In a prospective observational study, we studied all adult patients with severe sepsis from 77 intensive care units. We recorded compliance with four therapeutic goals (central venous pressure 8 mm Hg or greater for persistent hypotension despite fluid resuscitation and/or lactate greater than 36 mg/dl, central venous oxygen saturation 70% or greater for persistent hypotension despite fluid resuscitation and/or lactate greater than 36 mg/dl, blood glucose greater than or equal to the lower limit of normal but less than 150 mg/dl, and inspiratory plateau pressure less than 30 cm H(2)O for mechanically ventilated patients) and four treatments (early broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluid challenge in the event of hypotension and/or lactate greater than 36 mg/dl, low-dose steroids for septic shock, drotrecogin alfa [activated] for multiorgan failure). The primary outcome measure was hospital mortality. The effectiveness of each treatment was estimated using propensity scores. Of 2,796 patients, 41.6% died before hospital discharge. Treatments associated with lower hospital mortality were early broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment (treatment within 1 hour vs. no treatment within first 6 hours of diagnosis; odds ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.50-0.90; P = 0.008) and drotrecogin alfa (activated) (odds ratio, 0.59; 95% confidence interval, 0.41-0.84; P = 0.004). Fluid challenge and low-dose steroids showed no benefits. In severe sepsis, early administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics in all patients and administration of drotrecogin alfa (activated) in the most severe patients reduce mortality.
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              Drotrecogin alfa (activated) in children with severe sepsis: a multicentre phase III randomised controlled trial.

              Drotrecogin alfa (activated) (DrotAA) is used for the treatment of adults with severe sepsis who have a high risk of dying. A phase 1b open-label study has indicated that the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of DrotAA are similar in children and adults. We initiated the RESOLVE (REsearching severe Sepsis and Organ dysfunction in children: a gLobal perspectiVE) trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of the drug in children. Children aged between 38 weeks' corrected gestational age and 17 years with sepsis-induced cardiovascular and respiratory failure were randomly assigned to receive placebo or DrotAA (24 microg/kg/h) for 96 h. We used a prospectively defined, novel primary endpoint of Composite Time to Complete Organ Failure Resolution (CTCOFR) score. Secondary endpoints were 28-day mortality, major amputations, and safety. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT00049764. 477 patients were enrolled; 237 received placebo, and 240 DrotAA. Our results showed no significant difference between groups in CTCOFR score (p=0.72) or in 28-day mortality (placebo 17.5%; DrotAA, 17.2%; p=0.93). Although there was no difference in overall serious bleeding events during the 28-day study period (placebo 6.8%; DrotAA 6.7%; p=0.97), there were numerically more instances of CNS bleeding in the DrotAA group (11 [4.6%], vs 5 [2.1%] in placebo, p=0.13), particularly in children younger than 60 days. For CTCOFR score days 1-14, correlation coefficient was -0.016 (95% CI -0.106 to 0.74); relative risk for 28-day mortality was 1.06 (95% CI 0.66 to 1.46) for DrotAA compared with placebo. Although we did not record any efficacy of DrotAA in children with severe sepsis, serious bleeding events were similar between groups and the overall safety profile acceptable, except in children younger than 60 days. However, we gained important insights into clinical and laboratory characteristics of childhood severe sepsis, and have identified issues that need to be addressed in future trials in critically ill children.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                05 June 2013
                : 9
                : 277-284
                [1 ]Department of Pharmacy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
                [2 ]Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Kevin E Anger, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Administration; L-2, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA, Tel +1 617 732 7677, Fax +1 617 566 2396, Email kanger@ 123456partners.org
                © 2013 Anger et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research


                xigris, severe sepsis, activated protein c, drotrecogin alfa


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