Giving immediate antibiotics reduces deaths from sepsis

Giving immediate antibiotics (defined as within one hour) when people present to emergency departments with suspected sepsis reduces their risk of dying by a third compared with later administration. 

pills-1173654_1920 (1)

This meta-analysis of observational data from 23,596 people in emergency department settings confirmed that giving antibiotics within one hour was linked to a lower risk of in-hospital mortality compared with giving antibiotics later.

This adds weight to recommendations from NICE and other organisations that antibiotics should be administered straight away in people with suspected sepsis. However, in practice up to a third of people in the UK do not receive antibiotics within the hour.

NHS England and the UK Sepsis Trust have recently launched a campaign to encourage all healthcare professionals to act quickly when they recognise sepsis.

Full reference: Johnston AN, Park J, Doi SA, et al. Effect of immediate administration of antibiotics in patients with sepsis in tertiary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Therapeutics.  2017;39(1):190-202.e6.

Reducing the impact of serious infections CQUIN

Resources to support delivery of the ‘Reducing the impact of serious infections (antimicrobial resistance and sepsis)’ CQUIN, parts 2c and 2d | NHS Improvement

  • Reducing the impact of serious infections CQUIN, parts 2c and 2d – questions and answersPDF, 185.4 KB – Questions and answers relating to parts 2c and 2d of the ‘Reducing the impact of serious infections’ CQUIN.
  • Part 2c data collection and submissionXLSX, 236.1 KB – PHE has developed this submission tool (and sample data collection form) to facilitate the submission of part 2c (antibiotic review). All data submitted will be available on AMR Fingertips.
  • Part 2d antibiotic consumption submission toolXLSM, 91.4 KB – The data submitted as part of this year’s antimicrobial resistance (AMR) CQUIN has been used to develop this baseline data. Providers that did not take part in the 2016/17 AMR CQUIN or submitted previous annual data should submit quarterly data from January to December 2016, using the antibiotic consumption spreadsheets available on the NHS England AMR CQUIN webpage. Without this data a baseline cannot be calculated for your provider.
  • Part 2d baseline dataXLS, 259.5 KB – Use this to submit quarterly antibiotic consumption data to PHE. All data once submitted will be available via AMR Fingertips after an eight week data cleaning period.

Supporting better decision making for acute infection management in secondary care

addiction-71574_1280

Background

The inappropriate use of antimicrobials drives antimicrobial resistance. We conducted a study to map physician decision-making processes for acute infection management in secondary care to identify potential targets for quality improvement interventions.

Methods

Physicians newly qualified to consultant level participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim for analysis using NVIVO11.0 software. Grounded theory methodology was applied. Analytical categories were created using constant comparison approach to the data and participants were recruited to the study until thematic saturation was reached.

Results

Twenty physicians were interviewed. The decision pathway for the management of acute infections follows a Bayesian-like step-wise approach, with information processed and systematically added to prior assumptions to guide management. The main emerging themes identified as determinants of the decision-making of individual physicians were (1) perceptions of providing ‘optimal’ care for the patient with infection by providing rapid and often intravenous therapy; (2) perceptions that stopping/de-escalating therapy was a senior doctor decision with junior trainees not expected to contribute; and (3) expectation of interactions with local guidelines and microbiology service advice. Feedback on review of junior doctor prescribing decisions was often lacking, causing frustration and confusion on appropriate practice within this cohort.

Conclusion

Interventions to improve infection management must incorporate mechanisms to promote distribution of responsibility for decisions made. The disparity between expectations of prescribers to start but not review/stop therapy must be urgently addressed with mechanisms to improve communication and feedback to junior prescribers to facilitate their continued development as prudent antimicrobial prescribers.

Full reference: Timothy Miles Rawson, T. M. et al: Mapping the decision pathways of acute infection management in secondary care among UK medical physicians: a qualitative study BMC Medicine 2016 14:208

Helping parents spot the signs of sepsis

Sepsis awareness campaign will help parents and carers of young children recognise the symptoms of sepsis.

A nationwide campaign has been launched to help parents spot the symptoms of sepsis to protect young children and save lives.The campaign is principally aimed at parents and carers of young children aged 0 to 4.

The campaign, delivered by Public Health England and the UK Sepsis Trust, follows a number of measures already taken by the NHS to improve early recognition and timely treatment of sepsis. This includes a national scheme to make sure at-risk patients are screened for sepsis as quickly as possible and receive timely treatment on admission to hospital.

Leaflets and posters are being sent to GP surgeries and hospitals across the country. These materials, developed with experts, will urge parents to call 999 or take their child to A&E if they display any of the following signs:

  • looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • feels abnormally cold to touch
  • is breathing very fast
  • has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • has a fit or convulsion

The UK Sepsis Trust estimates that there are more than 120,000 cases of sepsis and around 37,000 deaths each year in England.

Click Here to Download Sepsis Symptoms Poster

Education and training for sepsis

Health Education England has published Getting it right: the current state of sepsis education and training for healthcare staff across England.

sepsis

Image source: http://www.hee.nhs.uk

The purpose of this report is to provide a broad understanding of the current provision of sepsis education and training for healthcare staff across England. The report includes examples of good and innovative practice in sepsis training and highlights high quality educational resources which could be promoted nationally for use in sepsis training.

Sepsis toolkit

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), in partnership with Health Education England and NHS England, has launched a Sepsis toolkit to support GPs and healthcare professionals to identify and manage the condition.

The toolkit provides a collection of tools, knowledge, and current guidance to support the identifying and appropriate management of patients with sepsis. The toolkit is aimed at GPs and healthcare professionals assessing people in the community with acute infection.

The toolkit also provides valuable information for patients, carers and parents, including an adult and child sepsis ‘symptom checker’, to illustrate the signs and symptoms they should look out for.

Additional link: RCGP press release

seps

Image source: sepsistrust.org/

NICE guidance: sepsis

B0006171 Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A1

Image shows Streptococcus pyogenes. This is a bacterial superantigen capable of causing toxic shock. Source: K R Acharya, Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

NICE has published new guidance Sepsis: recognition, diagnosis and early management (NG51). This guideline covers the recognition, diagnosis and early management of sepsis for all populations. The guideline committee identified that the key issues to be included were: recognition and early assessment, diagnostic and prognostic value of blood markers for sepsis, initial treatment, escalating care, identifying the source of infection, early monitoring, information and support for patients and carers, and training and education.

The UK Sepsis Trust will support release of the NICE Clinical Guideline on sepsis with tools and resources including screening and action tools to aid with early identification and management of sepsis in children and adults (including in pregnancy) across community-based, prehospital and acute clinical environments.

Related: NICE pathway: Sepsis