Care of the Acutelly Ill Patient

In this essay I will be exploring Sepsis; will briefly discuss its pathophysiology, signs, symptoms and treatments. I will outline protocols for sepsis screening, Early Goal Directed Therapy (EGDT) and in addition I aim to discuss the nurse’s role in the process and management of sepsis.
Robson and Daniels (2013) define sepsis as: ‘a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissue and organs. Sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death especially if not recognised early and treated promptly’. McKinney (2014) suggests that sepsis “triggers a cascading, whole body inflammatory response”. Regardless of great advances in health professionals understanding of its pathophysiology, sepsis remains a major reason for hospital and ICU admission (Cardoso et al, 2010) and represents a substantial health care Burden (Martin et al, 2003) .
Sepsis is the second leading cause of hospital deaths in ICU and the tenth leading cause of death is he United States overall (Martin et al, 2003). A study was conducted in the United States to investigate the epidemiology of sepsis with specific examination of race and sex, causative organisms, the disposition of patients, and the incidence and outcome. Results exposed that the incidence of sepsis and the number of sepsis related deaths is increasing, although the overall mortality rate among patients with sepsis is declining (Martin et al, 2003). The study also established that Gram-positive bacteria and fungal organisms are increasingly common causes of sepsis. According to the literature, a majority of sepsis cases filter through the Emergency Department (ED). Its diagnosis and treatment have proven complex and the barriers to improve them are even more intricate but the fact remains that efficacy of EGDT for resuscitation of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock should commence in the emergency department (Burney, 2012). EGDT interventions and better treatment...