(HealthDay News) — For critically ill patients with severe sepsis, mortality decreased from 2000–2012, according to a study published online March 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with the International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, held from March 18–21 in Brussels.

Kirsi-Maija Kaukonen, MD, PhD, from Monash University in in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues described changes in mortality for severe sepsis with and without shock in a cohort of patients from 171 intensive care units. The retrospective observational study (2000–2012) included 101,064 patients with severe sepsis from Australia and New Zealand.

The researchers observed a decrease in absolute mortality from severe sepsis, from 35.0 to 18.4% (P<0.001), representing a decrease of 16.7% overall; an absolute decrease of 1.3% annually; and a 47.5% relative risk reduction. Throughout the study, mortality decreased, with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.49 in 2012, relative to 2000. There was no significant difference in the annual decline in mortality between patients with severe sepsis and those with all other diagnoses (odds ratio, 0.94; P=0.37). Compared with patients with all other diagnoses, patients with severe sepsis had a significantly greater annual increase in rates of discharge to home and a significantly smaller annual increase in rates of discharge to rehabilitation facilities.

“In critically ill patients in Australia and New Zealand with severe sepsis with and without shock, there was a decrease in mortality from 2000–2012,” the authors write.

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