Background: Sepsis can lead to significant morbidity and mortality if not recognised and managed early. On the basis of national mortality reports, Irish guidelines recommend that patients at risk of neutropenia, patients with sepsis or those with a systemic inflammatory response (SIRS) with one plus co-morbidity should receive Sepsis Six. We assessed the implementation of the Sepsis Six on a surgical ward in our institution.

Methods: All inpatients on a surgical ward in July 2018 were prospectively assessed for the presence of infection and sepsis. If the Sepsis Six was required, implementation of each of the Sepsis Six elements was recorded.

Results: Of 164 patients, 40.2% (66/164) developed an infection of whom 47% (31/66), met the criteria for requiring Sepsis Six. Of these, 7.3% (12/164) patients had sepsis, with 3% (5/164) developing septic shock. Patients required Sepsis Six for the following reasons: ³1 co-morbidity and ³2 SIRS criteria(n=19); new onset organ failure (n=12) and neutropenic risk(n=0).Only 12.9% (4/31) patients received all of the Sepsis Six elements within one hour; 77.4% (24/31) received some and 9.67% (3/31) did not receive any elements. Blood cultures were taken in 54.8% (17/31) of cases but only 32.3% (10/31) patients had their lactate level checked.

Conclusion: Further research action is required to better understand and improve Sepsis Six implementation. This should facilitate improved sepsis recognition and enhance patient care.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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