Sepsis may be causing more deaths worldwide than we believe. According to a joint study by the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Washington, published recently in The Lancet, the death toll caused by sepsis worldwide maybe twice as much as estimated. This includes a high number of children from poor regions of the planet.
The analysis is based on data collated from 109 million individual death records. This included 8·7 million individual hospital records, collected for estimating sepsis-associated in-hospital fatalities. The research team went through the records to determine sepsis-related deaths. The team also calculated sepsis-related deaths by location, age group, sex, and year.
The team estimated around 48.9 million cases and 11 million deaths associated with sepsis in 2017 worldwide. This put the death toll at 1 in 5 deaths globally. An overwhelming percentage of such cases were reported in low- and middle-income countries. The highest numbers were reported from sub-Saharan Africa, followed by the South Pacific islands, and Asian regions in South, East, and Southeast. It affected more women than men. Among children, it occurs more widely in early childhood with over 40 percent cases among children under 5-years-old.