The Sepsis Scenario in India

The World Sepsis Day is held on the 13th of September every year. We held a meeting of local intensive care physicians in Bangalore the other day to mark the occasion. It offered us an opportunity to reflect upon where we stand and the progress we have made over the years in battling this deadly affliction, that kills approximately 6 million people across the globe every year. It is sobering to realize that this number may well be an underestimate because most epidemiological¬†studies do not include “middle” and “low income” countries. While the number of hospital admissions for myocardial infarction and stroke have decreased over the years, there has been a steady increase in patients who require hospitalization for sepsis. Several magic bullets have been tried and fallen by the wayside in our quest to combat sepsis.

In contrast to global epidemiology, there are several infectious diseases that are peculiar to and widely prevalent in India, including malaria, dengue, leptospirosis, typhoid, and tuberculosis. We have a paucity of country-specific epidemiological information on the incidence of and outcomes from sepsis-related illnesses from India. Multicentric studies from critical care units across the country would definitely offer us a plethora of information on the types of diseases, complications, and outcomes in critically ill patients with sepsis, from an Indian perspective. I am sure it will pave the way to enable us to deliver improved care to our patients.

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