Pediatric sepsis on the rise in the United States

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  • Although pediatric sepsis mortality rates have declined from 8.6% to 10.2%, incidence rates have been increasing steadily since 2012 by ~6000 cases/annually, especially among children <1 y.
  • Greater focus on prevention, incidence, and morbidity/mortality optimizes outcomes in this especially vulnerable population.

Why this matters

  • Growing body of literature highlights the increasing burden of sepsis in the United States, especially among children <1 y of very low birthweight.
  • Clinicians should be especially vigilant about earlier diagnosis, following updated Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines, and be particularly mindful of patient characteristics driving risk, including age, comorbidities requiring ≥3 procedures during hospitalization, and socioeconomic status. 

Key results

  • Rates of pediatric sepsis (RPS) increased from 92.8 in 2006 to 125.4 in 2009 and 158.7 in 2012, especially among children <1 y (P<.0001).
  • Birth-unrelated hospitalizations had higher RP...