HealthDay News — Implementation of sepsis guidelines improves early assessment, recognition, and management of patients presenting to an emergency department with sepsis, according to a study published online January 10 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Bernadine Romero, from St. George Hospital in Kogarah, Australia, and colleagues assessed the number of patients presenting with sepsis before and after implementation of guidelines in emergency departments to improve patient outcomes. They conducted a 12-month pre-post retrospective randomized medical record audit of adult patients diagnosed with sepsis. 

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The researchers found that 86.6 and 100% of the pre- and post-groups received intravenous antibiotics. After implementation of the guidelines there was a statistically significant 230-minute reduction in time to antibiotics. The post-implementation group, which included 165 patients, received more urgent triage categories (49.1%), had a 758 minute decrease in the average time to second liter of intravenous fluids, and experienced improvement in lactate collection (67.9%); these differences were all statistically significant.

“The findings highlight the impact guidelines can have on clinician decision making and behavior that support best practice and positive patient outcomes,” the authors write. “The sepsis guidelines improved the early assessment, recognition, and management of patients presenting with sepsis in one tertiary referral emergency department.”

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