Study Shows People of Color May Have Higher Sepsis Infection Risks

Black patients are not just more likely to contract severe sepsis in hospitals, but they’re also more likely to die from these infections. Those results come from a study conducted by researchers at the University Of Pittsburgh.

The researchers found that a black person had a 67% higher chance of being hospitalized with severe sepsis, than a white person. Not only that, these severe infections also contributed to blacks having an 80% higher chance of dying from sepsis, than their white counterparts. Among black persons, the rate of severe sepsis that required hospitalization was 9.4 for every 1,000 population, while for white persons, it was 5.6 for every 1,000 population.

The results are not that new to researchers or Indiana medical malpractice lawyers. This latest study does not offer explanations for the racial disparity in sepsis infection rates. The researchers do have a few theories, however. They believe that black persons possibly have a higher susceptibility to other infections that contribute to sepsis. Blacks have an infection rate that is 47.3 per 1,000 persons, while whites have an infection rate that is 34.0 per 1,000 persons. It is also likely that black patients are more susceptible to organ failure once infection has set in.

Besides, certain factors like income levels, household size, smoking and alcohol consumption have been found to impact general infection rates. The researchers believe that these general infections increase the person’s chances of contracting sepsis infections.

The researchers recommend some steps that will help reduce sepsis infection rates among blacks. It could help if vaccination programs, especially those for respiratory infections, could be targeted harder at young blacks. Black patients may also benefit from better management of their chronic kidney disease, diabetes and other conditions that contribute to the risk of sepsis infection.