A new tool to predict the risk of readmission to hospital or death in the first year after leaving hospital for adult survivors of sepsis has been endorsed by the Intensive Care Society.
The tool, now available online, is the first of its kind and was developed and validated using anonymised data from around 120,000 sepsis patients from the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC) national database for critical care units across England.
Using data from 94,748 patients, the research team, led by a King’s College London researcher, determined eight factors which affected risk for sepsis survivors: previous hospitalisations in the preceding year, age, socio-economic status, pre-existing dependency, numbers of pre-existing conditions, admission type, site of infection and admission blood haemoglobin level.
Using these, they developed a statistical model that could give an overall risk score for rehospitalisation or death in the first year after leaving hospital. The tool was then tested in a second group of 24,669 patients, and the calculations were found to be valid.
“Our vision is that by providing health care professionals and sepsis survivors a simple ‘score’ to explicitly understand risk, it may help improve follow-up care of sepsis survivors. The score could inform how to develop clinical pathways and support sepsis survivors’ choices around their ongoing care," said the tool lead developer Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, a consultant in intensive care medicine and NIHR Clinician Scientist.
The new tool is particularly timely as both survivors of sepsis and COVID-19 have risks of complications or death after leaving hospital and because the winter months are associated with an increase in sepsis admissions to hospital.