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Critical Care and Emergency Medicine

Bacterial Sepsis in Brazilian Children: A Trend Analysis from 1992 to 2006
Published: Friday, June 03, 2011
Author: Cristina Malzoni Ferreira Mangia et al.

by Cristina Malzoni Ferreira Mangia, Niranjan Kissoon, Otavio Augusto Branchini, Maria Cristina Andrade, Benjamin Israel Kopelman, Joe Carcillo


The objective of this study was to determine the epidemiology of hospitalized pediatric sepsis in Brazil (1992–2006) and to compare mortality caused by sepsis to that caused by other major childhood diseases.

Methods and Findings

We performed a retrospective descriptive study of hospital admissions using a government database of all hospital affiliated with the Brazilian health system. We studied all hospitalizations in children from 28 days through 19 years with diagnosis of bacterial sepsis defined by the criteria of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), (Appendix S1). Based on the data studied from 1992 through 2006, the pediatric hospital mortality rate was 1.23% and there were 556,073 pediatric admissions with bacterial sepsis with a mean mortality rate of 19.9%. There was a case reduction of 67% over.1992–2006 (p<0.001); however, the mortality rate remained unchanged (from 1992–1996, 20.5%; and from 2002–2006, 19.7%). Sepsis-hospital mortality rate was substantially higher than pneumonia (0.5%), HIV (3.3%), diarrhea (0.3%), undernutrition (2.3%), malaria (0.2%) and measles (0.7%). The human development index (HDI) and mortality rates (MR) by region were: North region 0.76 and 21.7%; Northeast region 0.72 and 27.1%; Central-West 0.81 and 23.5%; South region 0.83 and 12.2% and Southeast region 0.82 and 14.8%, respectively.


We concluded that sepsis remains an important health problem in children in Brazil. The institution of universal primary care programs has been associated with substantially reduced sepsis incidence and therefore deaths; however, hospital mortality rates in children with sepsis remain unchanged. Implementation of additional health initiatives to reduce sepsis mortality in hospitalized patients could have great impact on childhood mortality rates in Brazil.