Objective: To explore the demographic characteristics, disease specifics and outcomes of adult patients with suspected sepsis presenting to a remote Australian Emergency Department (ED).
Design, Setting and Participants: Retrospective uninterrupted time series audit of ED patients presenting with suspected sepsis. 189 remote presentations were reviewed based on the time of clinician identification of sepsis.
Methods: Retrospective cohort analysis was performed for all adult patients with suspected or confirmed sepsis.
Results: A majority of patients presenting with sepsis to a remote hospital were Indigenous (61.9%) with a large proportion (34.9%) presenting via ambulance. Median age was 50 years. Indigenous patients (44.7% 95% CI 34.1-55.9) were more likely to meet the qSOFA criteria compared to non-Indigenous patients (27.1% 95% CI 16.6-41.0) (p=0.05 95% CI -1.1-34.3) with higher rates of critical care admission (34.2% v 10.4%) (difference 23.8 p=0.003 95% CI 7.7-37.5). Congruent with previous research, Indigenous status did not confer a difference in sepsis mortality (12.1% v 11.8% p=0.91).
Conclusion: Remote Indigenous patients have worse clinical sepsis scores, are more likely to present by ambulance and require skin and soft tissue source control. This cohort has higher lactate values and critical care requirements but similar mortality rates. Improving access to culturally safe medical care could address this disparity.