Background: Prehospital recognition of sepsis may inform case management by ambulance clinicians, as well as inform transport decisions. The objective of this study was to develop a prehospital sepsis screening tool for use by ambulance clinicians. Methods: We derived and validated a sepsis screening tool, utilising univariable logistic regression models to identify predictors for inclusion, and multivariable logistic regression to generate the SEPSIS score. We utilised a retrospective cohort of adult patients transported by ambulance (n = 38483) to hospital between 01 July 2013 and 30 June 2014. Records were linked using LinkPlus® software. Successful linkage was achieved in 33289 cases (86%). Eligible patients included adult, non-trauma, non-mental health, non-cardiac arrest cases. Of 33289 linked cases, 22945 cases were eligible. Eligible cases were divided into derivation (n = 16063, 70%) and validation (n = 6882, 30%) cohorts. The primary outcome measure was high risk of severe illness or death from sepsis, as defined by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Sepsis guideline. Results: 'High risk of severe illness or death from sepsis' was present in 3.7% of derivation (n = 593) and validation (n = 254) cohorts. The SEPSIS score comprises the following variables: age, respiratory rate, peripheral oxygen saturations, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, temperature and level of consciousness (p < 0.001 for all variables). Area under the curve was 0.87 (95%CI 0.85-0.88) for the derivation cohort, and 0.86 (95%CI 0.84-0.88) for the validation cohort. In an undifferentiated adult medical population, for a SEPSIS score ≥ 5, sensitivity was 0.37 (0.31-0.44), specificity was 0.96 (0.96-0.97), positive predictive value was 0.27 (0.23-0.32), negative predictive value was 0.97 (0.96-0.97), positive likelihood value was 13.5 (9.7-18.73) and the negative likelihood value was 0.83 (0.78-0.88). Conclusion: This is the first screening tool developed to identify NICE high risk of severe illness or death from sepsis. The SEPSIS score is significantly associated with high risk of severe illness or death from sepsis on arrival at the Emergency Department. It may assist ambulance clinicians to identify those patients with sepsis in need of antibiotic therapy. However, it requires external validation, in clinical practice by ambulance clinicians, in an independent population.
|Journal||Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Jul 2019|
- Prediction model
- Screening tool