Thursday, February 2, 2023 -
12:00 to 13:00
Specific location: 
Room 201

BMC Seminar Thursday 2nd of February at 12:00 in Læknagarður, room 201

Speaker: Dr. Edda Vésteinsdóttir, Consultant physician, Landspitali University Hospital – Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care

Title: Sepsis requiring Intensive Care Unit admission: Studies on temporal trends in epidemiology, cancer, elective surgery and local infectious outbreaks

Abstract: Sepsis is a syndrome caused by the systemic inflammatory response to an infection and is a leading cause of admission to intensive care units worldwide. Mortality rates are high but awareness of the syndrome has increased in recent years and an international treatment campaign has been launched with the goal of reducing mortality. Medical care may contribute to the development of sepsis, not only by weakening host defenses with immunosuppressive therapy and surgical procedures, but also on rarer occasions by contaminated equipment.

The overall aim of this thesis was to create a broad overview of sepsis requiring admission to intensive care units in a nationwide cohort in Iceland, with a special focus on several patient groups. Trends in incidence, treatment and outcome were assessed, with special consideration given to cancer patients with sepsis, patients developing sepsis after surgery and the detection of nosocomial infection clusters and their impact.

The main results were that the population incidence of sepsis requiring intensive care in Iceland did not change over an 11 year study period (2006-2016) and no major changes were observed in sepsis management. The mortality rate was also stable and comparable to the other Nordic countries (28-day mortality 25% and one year mortality 41%). Cancer is a frequent comorbidity in sepsis patients but the extent of intensive care was often limited in patients with advanced disease. Major oncological procedures are the most common cause of postoperative sepsis following elective surgery. Unusual pattern of infections in cardiac surgery patients led to the detection of minor surface damage on a transoesophageal echocardiography probe that prevented adequate sterilization.

Short bio: Cand. Med from the University of Iceland, faculty of medicine in 2007 and M Sc from the same faculty in 2010. Specialist training in anaesthesia and intensive care at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm 2011-2015. Advanced educational program in cardiothoracic and vascular anaesthesia 2017-2019. Working as a consultant physician at Landspitali University Hospital since 2016. Ph D in Medical Sciences at the University of Iceland under supervision of Sigurbergur Kárason and Martin Ingi Sigurðsson in 2022.

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