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J Infect. 1993 Mar;26(2):159-70.

Septic shock in critically ill patients: aetiology, management and outcome.

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Department of Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Over a period of 28 months, 45 episodes of septic shock from 83 episodes of bacteraemia were studied prospectively to evaluate their clinical profile, management and outcome. Thirty-six patients were studied, the overall incidence of septic shock being 54.2%. Gram-negative organisms accounted for 23 (51.1%) of such episodes, Gram-positive 17 (37.8%), and three episodes were polymicrobial (6.7%). The organisms isolated most frequently were Staphylococcus epidermidis (17.8%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (13.3%), Escherichia coli and Klebsiella sp. (each 11.1%). Coagulation abnormalities were detected in 32 episodes (78%) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) occurred in 11 of these with high mortality. The most common underlying conditions were respiratory, hepatic and renal failures. The majority of these patients received crystalloids, colloids, vasopressor drugs and blood. Swan-Ganz catheters (SGC) were inserted on eight occasions, the majority of times indicating a hyperdynamic circulatory response. The overall mortality was 40%, despite aggressive management and intensive care. The most important factor in reducing mortality is early detection of bacteraemia and prompt management of these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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