Understanding and Enhancing Sepsis Survivorship: Priorities for Research and Practice

Hallie C. Prescott, Theodore J. Iwashyna, Bronagh Blackwood, Thierry Calandra , Linda L. Chlan, Karen Choong, Bronwen Connolly, Paul Dark, Luigi Ferrucci, Simon Finfer, Timothy D. Girard, Carol L. Hodgson, Ramona O. Hopkins, Catherine L. Hough, James C. Jackson, Flavia R. Machado, John C. Marshall, Cheryl Misak, Dale M. Needham, Pinaki Panigrahi Konrad Reinhart, Sachin Yende, Ross Zafonte, Kathryn M. Rowan, Derek C. Angus, on behalf of the International Sepsis Forum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


An estimated 14.1 million patients survive sepsis each year. Many survivors experience poor long-term outcomes, including new or worsened neuropsychological impairment, physical disability, and vulnerability to further health deterioration, including recurrent infection, cardiovascular events, and acute renal failure. However, clinical trials and guidelines have focused on shorter-term survival, so there are few data on promoting longer-term recovery. To address this unmet need, the International Sepsis Forum convened a Colloquium in February 2018 on “Understanding and Enhancing Sepsis Survivorship”. The goals were to identify (1) gaps and limitations of current research, (2) shorter-term priorities, and (3) longer-term priorities for understanding and enhancing sepsis survivorship. Twenty-six experts from eight countries participated. The top short-term priorities identified by nominal group technique culminating in formal voting were to better leverage existing databases for research, develop and disseminate educational resources on post-sepsis morbidity, and partner with sepsis survivors to define and achieve research priorities. The top longer-term priorities were to study mechanisms of long-term morbidity through large cohort studies with deep phenotyping, build a harmonized global sepsis registry to facilitate enrollment into cohorts and trials, and complete detailed longitudinal follow-up to characterize the diversity of recovery experiences. This Perspective reviews Colloquium discussions, the identified priorities, and current initiatives to address them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 972-981
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019

Cite this

Prescott, H. C., Iwashyna, T. J., Blackwood, B., Calandra , T., Chlan, L. L., Choong, K., Connolly, B., Dark, P., Ferrucci, L., Finfer, S., Girard, T. D., Hodgson, C. L., Hopkins, R. O., Hough, C. L., Jackson, J. C., Machado, F. R., Marshall, J. C., Misak, C., Needham, D. M., ... on behalf of the International Sepsis Forum (2019). Understanding and Enhancing Sepsis Survivorship: Priorities for Research and Practice. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 200(8), 972-981. https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201812-2383CP