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To determine the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of patients with sepsis admitted to hospitals in Victoria, Australia, including the incidence of sepsis and severe sepsis, utilization of intensive care unit (ICU) resources, and hospital mortality.A population-based hospital morbidity database generated from hospital discharge coding.State of Victoria, Australia (population, 4.5 million), the 4-yr period from July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2003.A total of 3,122,515 overnight hospitalizations.None.The overall hospital incidence of sepsis was 1.1%, with a mortality of 18.4%. Of septic patients, 23.8% received some care in an ICU. For these patients, hospital mortality was 28.9%. Severe sepsis, defined by sepsis and at least one organ dysfunction, occurred in 39% of sepsis patients and was accompanied by a hospital mortality of 31.1%. Fifty percent of patients with severe sepsis received at least some care in an ICU.Australian state hospital administrative data reveal epidemiologic features of sepsis and severe sepsis that are strikingly similar to those recently reported from comparable populations in North American and Europe. This suggests that lessons learned in this area may be directly applicable internationally.