Sepsis

Janice Carr / CDC via AP

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, killing about a quarter of a million Americans each year. New research from the University of Pittsburgh shows statewide protocols to fight the infection appear to reduce the number of deaths it causes.

Janice Carr / CDC via AP

Hospitals should reconsider the prevailing one-size-fits-all approach for treating sepsis, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Janice Carr / CDC via AP

More vigorous testing and treatment could significantly decrease the likelihood of children getting sepsis, a complication of an infection that can sometimes be life-threatening, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. 

Hamza Butt / Flickr

Sepsis is the leading cause of hospital deaths in the country, killing 250,000 Americans each year. The bacterial infection, colloquially known as "blood poisoning," can be caused by contamination in a hospital setting, and in deadly situations results in organ failure.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have concluded that a standardized approach to diagnosing and treating sepsis in its early stages does not affect survival rates.

The five-year, $8.4 million study examined 1,351 patients with septic shock in 31 hospitals across the U.S. and found no difference in treatment effectiveness.

Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of Pitt’s Department of Emergency Medicine, was one of the lead researchers in the study. He said it doesn’t matter what type of treatment a patient receives, as long as it’s early.