Strategizing to successfully identify and treat infectious diseases

A 35 year old patient with a fever and weakness visits a small town emergency department. The patient is previously healthy and has a mildly low blood pressure but otherwise does not look critically ill. The physician treats him with fluids and acetaminophen and discharges him.

He returns 6 hours later, critically ill, and dies before he can be transferred to a center with an ICU. The Sepsis and ED Soft Tissue Infection strategic initiative will identify the needs and strategies required for physicians working in Emergency Departments to successfully identify and treat septic patients early to prevent such tragedies.

The knowledge translation framework will ensure that this important information is in the hands of all physicians who potentially see these types of patients.

The ability to provide timely and optimal care is critical for patients with infections and UBC researchers are working hard to develop strategies to improve identification and treatment for this vulnerable population. Dr. Stenstrom is currently conducting a study with infected patients to increase effectiveness and efficiency of care. The impact of this work has been immediate and significantly reduced the number of patients dying from septic shock in hospitals (more than 50%) an will provide better care for difficult to treat infections.