Researchers in the past have sought to find geographic distributions of several life threatening conditions such as stroke and cardiac arrest. Researchers at the Pearlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have come out with a map that show geographic hotspots of infection and sepsis related deaths. Sepsis is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States with 750,000 cases of infection every year that results in 300,000 deaths. The areas that seem to have high rates of infection and deaths related to sepsis include the Midwest, mid-Atlantic, and the South. This research is an important first step in determining the areas of the country that require public health resources that are vital in fighting this disease.
IDC-10 codes were used by researchers to identify the primary cause of death for infection and severe sepsis in 2010. There were four major hotspots identified, with two of them located in the mid-Atlantic. There were two regions in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states that had three times the national mean of infection related deaths. Two regions in the South and mid-Atlantic states had two regions with four times the national rate of death from severe sepsis. There were also parts of the country that had very low incidents of infection (especially in the Mountain states). By mapping the distribution of the incidences of infection-related death rates further studies can be done on how and why these infections are happening in these regions and determine the best methods to prevent such deaths.
There were also facilities located in hotspots that had a lower incidence of infection. There is a hope that the practices in those institutions could be used to educate and cut down on other facilities in the region.
There are more than 1 million deaths every year that result from hospital acquired infections. This results in cost of upwards to $17 billion. Many approaches have been developed by entrepreneurs and diagnostic developers to reduce infections, such as advanced hand washing adherence technology, air filtration systems, and diagnostics to identify infections such as sepsis with enough time to take action.
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