Sepsis is a clinical syndrome of physiologic, pathologic, and biochemical abnormalities caused by serious infection. Sepsis is a major public health concern. Besides being a leading cause of mortality worldwide, sepsis accounted for more than $20 billion of U.S. hospital costs in 2011. In addition, there is increasing awareness that patients who survive sepsis are often left with long-term disabilities.

Updated definitions and clinical criteria for sepsis should help promote earlier recognition and more timely treatment of patients with sepsis or suspected sepsis. In a related study, researchers reviewed the electronic health records of more than one million patients to assess the usefulness of a clinical score known as "SOFA", which is used to help identify patients with sepsis.

Click here to read the article in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.