Relationship of Time to Antibiotic Initiation and Length of Hospital Stay for Patients Diagnosed with Sepsis

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Houser, Madison
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Sepsis is recognized as a complex and critical condition posing a severe threat to life. This medical condition produces severe dysfunction of vital organs through an exaggerated and uncontrolled response to infection (Hoffman & Sullivan, 2020). The urgency of this medical emergency necessitates prompt identification and intervention. Current literature supports initiation of a broad-spectrum antibiotic within one hour of suspicion of sepsis. Given that nurses are often the first to assess patients, their role in early detection and response is incredibly important. A retrospective chart review was used to determine if there is a relationship between time to antibiotic initiation and length of hospitalization in sepsis patients. Analysis of the data suggested an inverse relationship highlighting a trend of longer time to antibiotic initiation correlating with shorter hospital stays (r = -.009, p =.945). The average time for antibiotic administration was found to be 169.2 minutes. Additionally, it was found that older patients spent more time in the hospital, but received antibiotics more promptly, indicating a need for timely treatment in this demographic. Patients with septic shock had the longest length of stay, while those with sepsis pneumonia had the shortest. The predominant diagnosis was sepsis of unspecified origin (61.7%), followed by pneumonia-induced sepsis (13.3%). These results revealed trends in the relationship between time of antibiotic initiation and hospital stay duration, alongside other incidental findings pertinent to nursing practice.