Introduction: Over the last decades, sepsis has become a real medical emergency, with a high mortality rate and often requiring admission to an intensive care unit. An increasing number of CKD patients contracts sepsis due to several clinical risk factors (use of catheters, immunosuppressive therapy, comorbidity, etc.) and is treated in Nephrology wards, generating additional costs that are not covered by hospital Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG) reimbursement. The aim of the study is to evaluate the costs of sepsis in one Nephrology Unit and to detect the mortality rate of CKD patients with sepsis.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study on a cohort of CKD patients admitted into one Nephrology Unit in 2017. CKD inpatients were divided in two groups: patients with sepsis (SP) and without (control group). Socio-demographic, clinical and therapeutic data, as well as routine biochemistry, were collected through a “sepsis form”. SP were identified thanks to hospital discharge records (HDR). The hospital-related costs of a SP were obtained by summing up: (1) the average cost of an inpatient day of care for the average length of stay in the Nephrology Unit; (2) the average cost of the antimicrobial therapy, as recorded on the clinical folder.
Results: Among the 408 CKD inpatients, 61 were septic. The overall average cost of a SP was 23.087,57 €; the average cost of the hospital stay and of the antimicrobial therapy was 19.364,98 € and 3.722,60 € respectively. The average length of stay in the Nephrology Unit was 16.7 days. The in-hospital mortality rate was 41.7%, with a 312% additional mortality rate.
Conclusions: SP had an overall average cost three times higher than CKD inpatients without sepsis (9.290,79 €). This additional cost was due to a longer hospital stay (8.7 days more on average) and a higher cost of antimicrobial therapy per case (€ 221,24). A national multi-centre study is needed to confirm our data and to promote an adjustment of reimbursement tariff for DRG-sepsis, which is now applicable only to an ICU setting.
Keywords: sepsis, costs, kidney disease, hospital discharge register