The New York American College of Emergency Physicians exists to support quality emergency medical care and to promote the interest of emergency physicians.

Send Request

Study Finds State-Mandated Protocols Linked to Drop in Sepsis-Related Deaths

July 17, 2019 - Department of Health regulations requiring all acute care hospitals in New York to develop and implement protocols for timely recognition and treatment of sepsis have been linked to a reduction in sepsis-related hospital deaths compared to other states, new research suggests.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week found that the 2013 regulations — issued in response to the sepsis-related death of a 12-year-old boy — led to a 3.2 percent drop in mortality in New York compared to other states that had not adopted such protocols.

The study, however, noted that while the regulations may have helped correct the state's relatively poor-quality sepsis care, "states with high-quality sepsis care may not see similar results if they adopt sepsis regulations."

The DOH regulations call for, among other things, administration of antibiotics within three hours and resuscitation with intravenous fluid by six hours for patients with signs of hypoperfusion. They further require hospitals to regularly train staff on protocols and report on protocol adherence and clinical outcomes to the state.

A 2017 report found a 20 percent increase in the number of sepsis cases in New York after the regulations took effect, with mortality rates for adults declining to 25.4 percent from 30.2 percent.

To view online: