Background: Sepsis is common in surgical patients, and its presence influences the outcomes in those to undergo surgery. Factors such as advanced age, presence of comorbidities and many other conditions increase mortality in surgical patients with sepsis. The sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score simplified into qSOFA helps to define sepsis and to identify patients who are likely to die from it. Sepsis in surgery is under investigated in low- and middle-income countries and so are the factors for mortality in that specific surgical population. Our aim was to develop a prognostic tool accurate in predicting outcomes in surgical patients with sepsis who present at University Teaching Hospitals of Kigali (CHUK) and Butare (CHUB) and in other centers with limited resources Methods: This was a prospective cohort study conducted over a period of 1 year from February 2018 to January 2019. The surgical patients with sepsis recruited in the first 6 months at CHUK served as the derivation cohort and those recruited in the next 6 months from both CHUK and CHUB served as the validation cohort. The Kigali surgical sepsis (KiSS) score was derived, and to determine its accuracy in predicting mortality, we measured sensitivity, specificity and area under receiver operator characteristic (AUROC) curve. We then compared this with qSOFA score. Results: A total of 288 patients were recruited with 144 in each cohort. The mean age was 36.5, and median age was 32.6. The mean length of hospital stay (LoHS) was 22.9 days. The overall intensive care unit (ICU) admission rate was 51.4%, and the surgical sepsis-related hospital mortality rate was 21.7%. Factors associated with surgical sepsis-related hospital mortality were age above 55 years (p = 0.034), presence of comorbidities (p = 0.069), hypotension (p = 0.014), tachycardia (p = 0.061), tachypnea (p = 0.028), decreased level of consciousness (p = 0.021), presence of GIT perforation (p = 0.026) and number of impaired organ function (p = 0.035). A predictive score (KiSS score) consisting of six parameters was derived from these factors and compared to qSOFA score. The sensitivity of KiSS score in predicting mortality was 73% (vs 52% for qSOFA), and the specificity was 97% (vs 87% for qSOFA). The predictive validity for hospital mortality was assessed by AUROC curve, and it was 0.939 (95% CI, p < 0.001) for KiSS and 0.684 (95% CI, p < 0.001) for qSOFA. Conclusion: The KiSS score was effective in predicting surgical sepsis-related hospital mortality in low-resource setting. The KiSS score showed an added advantage of stratifying septic surgical patients to be operated on into those with good, variable and poor prognosis.
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