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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2007 Nov;51(10):1320-6.

Community-acquired septic shock: early management and outcome in a nationwide study in Finland.

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Department of Surgery, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



To determine how the early treatment guidelines were adopted, and what was the impact of early treatment on mortality in septic shock in Finland.


This study was a sub-analysis of a prospective observational investigation of severe sepsis and septic shock in Finland (Finnsepsis). All patients with severe sepsis over 4 months in 24 intensive care units were included in the Finnsepsis study. Patients with community-acquired septic shock, admitted directly from the emergency department to the intensive care unit, were included in the sub-study. The following treatment targets were evaluated: measurement of lactate during the first 6 h; analysis of blood culture before antibiotics; commencement of antibiotics within 3 h; attainment of a mean arterial pressure of > or =65 mmHg, central venous pressure of > or =8 mmHg and central venous oxygen saturation of > or =70% or mixed venous oxygen saturation of > or =65% during the first 6 h.


Of the 92 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria, six reached all treatment targets and 33 reached four or more targets (group > or =4). The hospital mortality of group > or =4 was 24% (8/33), compared with 42% (25/59) for those who reached three or fewer targets (group < or =3) (P= 0.08). The 1-year mortality rates of group > or =4 and group < or =3 were 36% and 59% (P= 0.04), respectively. In logistic regression analysis, a delayed initiation of antimicrobials was associated with an unfavourable outcome (P= 0.04).


Compliance with international guidelines for the early treatment of septic shock was poor in Finnish hospitals. A failure to diagnose early and to start appropriate treatment was reflected in the high mortality. The delayed start of antibiotics was the most important individual variable leading to a high mortality in this nationwide study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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