The incidence of sepsis

Sepsis: Third leading cause of death

In Germany, every year about 154,000 people develop a sepsis. About 56,000 of them die, that is 154 people per day. By comparison, 2 people die of AIDS each day, 106 people of lung cancer. 

Besides, sepsis is the leading cause of death on noncardiac intensive care units. 

 Cases/year  Deaths/year  Mortality rate
Worldwide 1.500.000 500.000  33,3 %
USA 749.129 215.000   28,7 %
Europe 550.000 146.000  26,5 %
Germany  154.000  56.000   36,4 %

The incidence among industrial countries (without Germany) is determined with 51 - 300 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is higher than the incidence of diseases like colon cancer (50 / 100.000), breast cancer (110 / 100.000) and AIDS (17 / 100.000). 

Sepsis figures

The figures are based on a representative study which was conducted in 2003/2004 by the competence network sepsis (SepNet). 

Short study information
Number of hospitals: 310
Number of ICUs: 454
Period: 15.01.2003 – 14.01.2004

Further information:
Engel et al: "Epidemiology of sepsis in Germany: results from a national prospective multicenter study." N Engl J Med 2007; 33:606–618.

Nosocomial infections

Infections that are acquired in hospitals are called nosocomial infections. 

The most common nosocomial infections are urinary tract infections (40%), lower respiratory tract infections (20%) and surgical wound infections (15%), followed by catheter-associated infections (8%).