Saturday, 15 February 2020

1 in Every 5 Deaths Worldwide Associated With Sepsis, the Lancet Study Reveals

The Lancet published a groundbreaking study on sepsis yesterday – the results are concerning:
  • Twice as many people are dying from sepsis worldwide than previously estimated, with 48.9 million cases and 11 million deaths in 2017 alone
  • 1 in every 5 deaths worldwide are associated with sepsis
  • 2 out of every 5 cases are in children under 5
  • 85 % occur in low- or middle-income countries, and much more...
The full study, including a comment and press releases, are available on the World Sepsis Day website.

Although the number of cases are much higher than previously estimated, it is important to note that great international and collaborative work has been done worldwide in the past decades to fight sepsis. These efforts are conveyed in the study which examined annual sepsis incidence and mortality trends from 1990 to 2017. The study found that rates are actually decreasing.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body's response to an infection. The body normally releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body's response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes that can damage multiple organ systems.

In 1990, there were an estimated 60.2 million sepsis cases and 15.7 million deaths, compared to the 48.9 million cases and 11 million deaths in 2017. However, the study highlights we still have a long way to go in the global fight against sepsis and we need to continue to build upon the work being done worldwide.

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

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