Table 1

Participant characteristics

Author, year, referenceTotal no of patients, no (group sizes)Age (years) mean±SD, median (IQR)Gender
(% female)
Location of patientsWhen were scores calculated?Participant selection criteriaComparatorsOutcome: Admission to ICU
% (no of patients)
Outcome: Measured mortalityOutcome:
Prevalence of mortality
% (no of patients)
Goulden et al, 201820 181868±1949ED and MAUBased on arrival measurementSuspected sepsisqSOFA, NEWS, SIRS3% (53)In-hospital mortality15% (265)
Churpek et al, 201721 30677 all patients:
(18 523 ED;
12154 wards)
58±18 all patients;
58±18.9 ED;
57±16.7 Wards
53 all
55 ED;
48 wards
ED and wardsRetrospective calculationSuspected infection based on whether they have had a blood culture and IV antibioticsqSOFA, NEWS, MEWS, SIRS26% (4868 ED)
20% (2390 wards)
No further data on this outcome alone (composite outcome)
In-hospital mortality5% (920 ED)
6% (729 wards)
Usman et al, 201822 115 734
(930 SS/SS)
46.5±19.7 all patients:
63±17 SS/SS
50.8EDBased on arrival measurementsSepsis codes or blood cultures, urine, or antibiotics or flagged by ED doctor.qSOFA, NEWS, SIRSNot investigatedSepsis-related in-hospital mortality and all-cause mortality17.6% (164) sepsis related
(0.6% (730) all-cause mortality—not just septic patients.)
Szakmany et al, 201823 380 all patients:
(64 ED;
316 wards)
74 (61–83) all patients53ED and wardsUsed measurements at time sepsis was suspected.Suspected or proven infection in patients with a NEWS ≥3.qSOFA, NEWS, SIRS, SOFA3.7% (14)
Given combined for ED and wards.
No further data on this outcome.
30-day all-cause mortality17.2% (11 ED)
21.2% (67 wards).
Samsudin et al, 201824 21466.9±16.1
Combined from data in paper
49.5EDArrival scores used for all scores except qSOFA where both initial and worst used.Clinical suspicion of sepsis meeting 2 of 4 SIRS criteria in high triage category.qSOFA, NEWS, HRV, SIRS5.14% (11)
No further data on this outcome alone (composite outcome.)
30-day in-hospital mortality18.7% (40)
de Groot et al, 201725 228061.1±17.042.3EDRetrospective calculationSuspected infection with a Manchester triage category of yellow, orange, red, or IV antibiotics.qSOFA, NEWS, MEWS, MEDS, PIRO.9.6% (220)
Note: Authors combined ICU/MCU
In-hospital mortality6.3% (143)
Redfern et al, 201826 241996 all patients:
(81 170 ED admissions of which 40 782 with an infection code)
63±20 all patients53ED and direct specialty referralsRetrospective calculationAll admissions separated into no infection or infection depending on “suspicion of sepsis” ICD 10 codes.qSOFA, NEWS, qNEWS9.65% (3937/40782)
Primary or secondary infection codes admitted to ICU or death from the ED
In-hospital mortality8.09% (3298/40782)
Primary or secondary infection codes from the ED
Redondo-González et al, 201827 34972.7 (range 86)45.6EDRetrospective calculationSuspected infection plus two of a list of altered physiological parameters (including SIRS)qSOFA, EWS (NEWS), SOFA, LODSNot investigatedIn-hospital mortality21.8% (76)
Innocenti et al, 201728 74275±1447ED-HDU and data taken from ED admissionRetrospective calculationPatients admitted to ED-HDU with a diagnosis of sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shockqSOFA, MEWS, SOFA, MEDS, PRIO, APACHE II, CCISecondary outcome but no % given.
(Looked at average scores at admission to ICU)
28-day mortality31% (230)
Martino et al, 201829 31078 (64–84)43EDRetrospective calculationCoded as sepsis (ICD-9 codes)qSOFA, MEWS, SOFA, SIRS14.2% (43)In-hospital mortality24.7% (75)
Liu and Hu 201830 58459.5±17.234.35EDRetrospective calculationSevere sepsis (Sepsis-3 criteria)qSOFA, MEWS, SIRS, MEDS, SOFA, APACHE IINot investigated28-day mortality20.38% (119)
van der Woude et al, 201831 577 all patients:
(198 with probable infection)
55.3±18.6 all patients49.7 all patientsEDRetrospective calculationRandom selection of medical patients in ED. Infection based on discharge diagnosis and independent review of the notes.qSOFA, MEWS, SOFA, SIRS6.4% (37) all patientsIn-hospital mortality3.6% (21) all patients
Brink et al, 201932 820457 (41–68)44.2EDRetrospective calculationConsecutive patients with suspected sepsis, defined as administration of intravenous antibiotics, taking of cultures/viral diagnostics.qSOFA, NEWS, SIRSNot investigated10-day and 30-day mortality3.5% (286)
10-day mortality
6.0% (490)
30-day mortality
  • APACHE II, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation Score; CCI, Charlson Comorbidity Index; ED, emergency department; EMU, emergency multidisciplinary unit; HDU, high-dependency unit; HRV, heart rate variability; ICD-9, International Classification of Disease 9; ICD-10, International Classification of Disease 10; ICU, intensive care unit; LODS, Logistic Organ Dysfunction Score; MAU, medical assessment unit; MCU, medium care unit; MEDS, Mortality in the Emergency Department Score; MEWS, Modified Early Warning Scores; NICE, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; PIRO, predisposition, infection (or insult), response and organ dysfunction; qNEWS, quick National Early Warning Score; qSOFA, Quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment; SIRS, Systemic inflammatory response syndrome; SS/SS, severe sepsis/septic shock.