Sepsis

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Sepsis is the leading cause of hospital deaths in the country, killing 250,000 Americans each year. The bacterial infection, colloquially known as "blood poisoning," can be caused by contamination in a hospital setting, and in deadly situations results in organ failure.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have concluded that a standardized approach to diagnosing and treating sepsis in its early stages does not affect survival rates.

The five-year, $8.4 million study examined 1,351 patients with septic shock in 31 hospitals across the U.S. and found no difference in treatment effectiveness.

Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of Pitt’s Department of Emergency Medicine, was one of the lead researchers in the study. He said it doesn’t matter what type of treatment a patient receives, as long as it’s early.