RationaleEarly antibiotics improve outcomes for patients with sepsis. Factors influencing antibiotic timing in emergency department (ED) sepsis remain unclear.
ObjectivesDetermine the relationship between prehospital level of care of patients with sepsis and ED door-to-antibiotic time.
MethodsThis retrospective cohort study comprised patients admitted from the community to an academic ED June 2009 to February 2015 with fluid-refractory sepsis or septic shock. Transfer patients and those whose antibiotics began before ED arrival or after ED discharge were excluded. We used multivariable regression to evaluate the association between the time from ED arrival to antibiotic initiation and prehospital level of care, defined as the highest level of emergency medical services received: none, basic life support (BLS) ambulance, or advanced life support (ALS) ambulance. We measured variation in this association when hypotension was or was not present by ED arrival.
ResultsAmong 361 community-dwelling patients with sepsis, the level of prehospital care correlated with illness severity. ALS-treated patients received antibiotics faster than patients who did not receive prehospital care (median, 103 [interquartile range, 75 to 135] vs. 144 [98 to 251] minutes, respectively) or BLS-only patients (168 [100-250] minutes; P?ConclusionsPrehospital ALS but not BLS-only care was associated with faster antibiotic initiation for patients with sepsis without hypotension. Process redesign for non-ALS patients may improve antibiotic timeliness for ED sepsis.
SUBMITTER: Peltan ID