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    The early recognition of patients with sepsis is difficult and the initial assessment outside of hospitals is challenging for ambulance clinicians (ACs). Indicators that ACs can use to recognize sepsis early are beneficial for patient outcomes. Research suggests that elevated point-of-care (POC) plasma glucose and serum lactate levels may help to predict sepsis in the ambulance service (AS) setting. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the elevation of POC plasma glucose and serum lactate levels may help to predict Sepsis-3 in the AS. A prospective observational study was performed in the AS setting of Gothenburg in Sweden from the beginning of March 2018 through the end of September 2019. The criteria for sampling POC plasma glucose and serum lactate levels in the AS setting were high or intermediate risk according to the Rapid Emergency Triage and Treatment System (RETTS), as red, orange, yellow, and green if the respiratory rate was >22 breaths/minutes. Sepsis-3 were identified retrospectively. A primary and secondary analyses were carried out. The primary analysis included patients cared for in the AS and emergency department (ED) and were hospitalized. In the secondary analysis, patients who were only cared for in the AS and ED without being hospitalized were also included. To evaluate the predictive ability of these biomarkers, the area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values were used. A total of 1,057 patients were included in the primary analysis and 1,841 patients were included in the secondary analysis. In total, 253 patients met the Sepsis-3 criteria (in both analyses). The AUC for POC plasma glucose and serum lactate levels showed low accuracy in predicting Sepsis-3 in both the primary and secondary analyses. Among all hospitalized patients, regardless of Sepsis-3, more than two-thirds had elevated plasma glucose and nearly one-half had elevated serum lactate when measured in the AS. As individual biomarkers, an elevated POC plasma glucose and serum lactate were not associated with an increased likelihood of Sepsis-3 when measured in the AS in this study. However, the high rate of elevation of these biomarkers before arrival in hospital highlights that their role in clinical decision making at this early stage needs further evaluation, including other endpoints than Sepsis-3.


    Agnes Olander, Carl Magnusson, Annelie J Sundler, Anders Bremer, Henrik Andersson, Johan Herlitz, Christer Axelsson, Magnus Andersson Hagiwara. Prediction of the Risk of Sepsis by Using Analysis of Plasma Glucose and Serum Lactate in Ambulance Services: A Prospective Study. Prehospital and disaster medicine. 2023 Apr;38(2):160-167

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    PMID: 36752111

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