Delays From First Medical Contact to Antibiotic Administration for Sepsis*

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the association between total medical contact, prehospital, and emergency department delays in antibiotic administration and in-hospital mortality among patient encounters with community-acquired sepsis.

Design:

Retrospective cohort study.

Setting:

Nine hospitals served by 21 emergency medical services agencies in southwestern Pennsylvania from 2010 through 2012.

Patients:

All emergency medical services encounters with community acquired sepsis transported to the hospital.

Measurements and Main Results:

Among 58,934 prehospital encounters, 2,683 had community-acquired sepsis, with an in-hospital mortality of 11%. Median time from first medical contact to antibiotic administration (total medical contact delay) was 4.2 hours (interquartile range, 2.7–8.0 hr), divided into a median prehospital delay of 0.52 hours (interquartile range, 0.40–0.66 hr) and a median emergency department delay of 3.6 hours (interquartile range, 2.1–7.5 hr). In a multivariable analysis controlling for other risk factors, total medical contact delay was associated with increased in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio for death, 1.03 [95% CI, 1.00–1.05] per 1-hr delay; p < 0.01), as was emergency department delay (p = 0.04) but not prehospital delay (p = 0.61).

Conclusions:

Both total medical contact and emergency department delay in antibiotic administration are associated with in-hospital mortality in community-acquired sepsis.

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