Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Is Sepsis-Associated Mortality Preventable?

JAMA Netw Open; 2019 Feb 15; Rhee, et al

Most sepsis-associated deaths in US acute care hospitals are unlikely to be preventable through better hospital-based care, a new study suggests. The cohort study reviewed the medical records of 568 patients (50.9% men, mean age 70.5 years) who were admitted to 6 hospitals and died in the hospital or were discharged to hospice and not readmitted. Researchers found:

  • Sepsis was the most common immediate cause of death.
  • Sepsis was present in 300 hospitalizations (52.8%) and directly caused death in 198 (34.9%) cases.
  • However, most underlying causes of death were related to severe chronic comorbidities.
  • Additionally, only 11 sepsis-associated deaths (3.7%) were judged definitely or moderately likely preventable; another 25 sepsis-associated deaths (8.3%) were considered possibly preventable.


Rhee C, Jones TM, Hamad Y, et al. Prevalence, underlying causes, and preventability of sepsis-associated mortality in US acute care hospitals. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(2):e187571. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.7571.

This Week's Must Reads

Acute Illness and Cannabis Use in Adults, Ann Intern Med; ePub 2019 Mar 26; Monte, et al

Pregnancy History and Risk of Miscarriage, BMJ; ePub 2019 Mar 20; Magnus, et al

Firearms Mortality Among US Schoolchildren, Am J Med; ePub 2019 Mar 25; Rubenstein, et al

Rapid Point of Care Test for Influenza, J Am Board Fam Med; 2019 Mar; Dale, et al

Sleep Disturbance and Chronic Pain Intensity, Clin J Pain; ePub 2019 Mar 25; Burgess, et al

Must Reads in Critical Care

Is Sepsis-Associated Mortality Preventable?, JAMA Netw Open; 2019 Feb 15; Rhee, et al

Contemporary Management of Patients with PE, Am J Med; ePub 2018 Aug 10; Secemsky, et al