Table 3

Waiting times, baseline physiological data and outcome per ATS triage category of all patients with severe sepsis at triage and ED

VariableATS1ATS2ATS3ATS4ATS5p Value
Cases per ATS category n (%)*172 (17%)319 (32%)258 (26%)205 (21%)41 (4%)0.0516
Recommended MWT per ATS, minutes1103060120
Actual waiting time, minutes5 (±5)24 (±5)36 (±15)68 (±16)148 (±29)<0.0001
Severe sepsis identified at triage45 (26)192 (60)183 (71)114 (56)15 (40)<0.0001
Appropriate empiric antimicrobial prescription†22 (13)136 (43)108 (42)92 (45)15 (40)0.9053
Time to first antimicrobial therapy, minutes128 (±57)109 (±63)136 (±55)182 (±80)197 (±78)0.0011
Lactate >4 mmol, sepsis related150 (87)265 (83)183 (71)112 (55)5 (13)<0.0001
BGL >10 mmol96 (52)194 (61)121 (46)78 (34)5 (13)<0.0001
Systolic BP, mm Hg87 (±17)94 (±17)105 (±25)128 (±32)125 (±35)<0.0031
Circulatory compromise‡162 (94)306 (96)106 (41)59 (28)8 (19)<0.0001
Temperature >38°C49 (28)102 (31)147 (56)84 (40)6 (14)<0.0001
Temperature <36°C63 (36)149 (47)35 (13)2 (0.09)1 (0.04)<0.0066
GCS9 (±2)9 (±3)11 (±2)12 (±1)13 (±1)0.0384
RR>30 breaths/min95 (55)204 (63)16 (6)<0.0001
RR<1043 (25)8 (0.02)<0.0001
Nausea/vomiting symptoms123 (72)187 (58)74 (28)81 (39)20 (50)0.0123
Pain score>846 (26)79 (25)54 (21)16 (8)0.2585
Mean time in ED, hours1.2 (±0.2)3 (±0.2)3.8 (±2.7)6 (±2.9)10 (±3.6)<0.0001
Mean APACHE II score (ICU)26 (±12)21 (±8)18 (±9)11 (±5)10 (±8)<0.0001
Mean SOFA score (ICU)9 (±4.9)8 (±3.6)5 (±3.3)3 (±3.1)3 (±3.8)0.0103
Hospital mortality n (%)77 (45)99 (31)49 (9)10 (5)0.0024
  • Values expressed as mean±SD or n (%) of ATS category unless stipulated.

  • p Value=differences in means and proportions at the 0.5 level.

  • *Includes all patients with severe sepsis.

  • †Prescribed and administered in the ED according to hospital guidelines.

  • ‡Circulatory compromise: clammy or mottled skin, poor perfusion, HR<50 or >150, hypotension with haemodynamic effects.

  • ATS, Australasian Triage Scale; BGL, blood glucose level; ED, emergency department; ICU, measured on admission to the intensive care unit; MWT, minimum waiting time to be seen in the ED.