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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

The association between sepsis and potential medical injury among hospitalized patients.

Liu V, Turk BJ, Rizk NW, et al. Chest. 2012;142:606-613.

Patients hospitalized with sepsis—an overwhelming infection—are among the most critically ill patients in any hospital, and this study demonstrates that they are also at increased risk of experiencing a preventable adverse event. The authors used the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators to demonstrate that patients with sepsis are at substantially elevated risk of adverse events, and the risk increased with escalating disease severity. This corroborates prior research which shows that medically complex patients, especially those requiring intensive care, are particularly vulnerable to adverse events. An AHRQ WebM&M commentary discusses a preventable error that contributed to the death of a patient from septic shock.