Not surprisingly, septic ED patients with persistent hypotension despite fluid resuscitation have increased mortality.
What about the more common scenario of septic ED patients who have a transient drop in their BP?
Recent evidence suggests that ED patients with sepsis who have non-sustained decrease in their BP (SBP < 100 mm Hg) have a 3-fold increased risk of in-hospital mortality compared with those who maintain arterial pressure.
Take Home Point: Any drop in BP in a septic patient, even if it responds to fluids, portends a higher mortality. Be vigilant and aggressively resuscitate these patients.
Marchick MR, Kline JA, Jones AE. The significance of non-sustained hypotension in emergency department patients with sepsis. Intensive Care Med 2009 (published online 2/24/09).