Lactate Clearance Predicts Survival Among Patients in the Emergency Department with Severe Sepsis
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Lactate Clearance Predicts Survival Among Patients in the Emergency Department with Severe Sepsis

  • Author(s): Bhat, Sundeep R.
  • Swenson, Kai E.
  • Francis, Melissa W.
  • Wira, Charles R.
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: Lactate clearance has been implicated as a predictor of mortality among emergency department (ED) patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. We aimed to validate prior studies showing that lactate clearance during the ED stay is associated with decreased mortality.

Methods: Retrospective dual-centered cross-sectional study using patients identified in the Yale-New Haven Hospital Emergency Medicine sepsis registry with severe sepsis or septic shock who had initial lactate levels measured in the ED and upon arrival (<24 hours) to the hospital floor. Lactate clearance was calculated as percent of serum lactate change from ED to floor measurement. We compared mortality and hospital interventions between patients who cleared lactate and those who did not. 

Results: 207 patients (110 male; 63.17±17.9 years) were included. Two reviewers extracted data with 95% agreement. One hundred thirty-six patients (65.7%) had severe sepsis and 71 patients (34.3%) had septic shock. There were 171 patients in the clearance group and 36 patients in the non-clearance group. The 28-day mortality rates were 15.2% in the lactate clearance group and 36.1% in the non-clearance group (p<0.01). Vasopressor support was initiated more often in the non-clearance group (61.1%) than in the clearance group (36.8%, p<0.01) and mechanical ventilation was used in 66.7% of the non-clearance group and 36.3% of the clearance group (p=0.001). 

Conclusion: Patients who do not clear their lactate in the ED have significantly higher mortality than those with decreasing lactate levels. Our results are confirmatory of other literature supporting that lactate clearance may be used to stratify mortality-risk among patients with severe sepsis or septic shock.

 

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