Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Background: Any infection can potentially develop into sepsis. Many patients present to the Emergency Department (ED) with infection and go on to require antibiotics. However, the timeliness of antibiotics can make a difference to patient survival and reduce the risk of infection developing into sepsis and or septic shock. Methods: Our study was a 4 month prospective descriptive exploratory pilot study. Results: Of all adult (n = 18,807) presentations 3339 (18%) patients had a primary diagnosis related to infection. The study collected data on 104 (3%) patients who were administered antibiotics. One hundred (95%) patients who received antibiotics were admitted to hospital. Triage code did not influence time to antibiotic (p = .352). Eighty-five (81%) patients waited longer than 1 h for their first antibiotic with the shortest administration time 19 min (mean 233 min, SD 247) and the maximum wait for antibiotics was 1481 min. For sepsis or septic shock patients (n = 8) the average time to antibiotics was 411 min (SD = 455 min). Conclusion: The study provides a detailed analysis of ED patients receiving antibiotics. Further research is needed to identify strategies to improve the timely delivery of antibiotics for patients with infections.

Document Type

Journal Article

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ERA Access

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