Intensive care nurses’ awareness of identification of early sepsis findings


Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol.31, no.19-20, pp.2886-2899, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 19-20
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jocn.16116
  • Journal Name: Journal of Clinical Nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, AgeLine, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.2886-2899
  • Keywords: early findings, intensive care, nurse, risk factors, sepsis
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Aim: To determine intensive care nurses’ awareness of identification of early sepsis findings. Background: The incidence of sepsis is increasing in intensive care units, and if not identified early, it increases morbidity, mortality and cost of care. Intervention within one hour after the diagnosis of sepsis increases survival. Nurses’ ability to identify early findings of sepsis affects the time of diagnosis of sepsis. Design: The study used a cross-sectional design. Methods: The sample of the study consisted of 544 nurses working in adult intensive care units of hospitals in Turkey. The study data were collected online between 11 January–8 April 2021 using the snowball method. Data were statically analysed. All procedures of the study adhered to the STROBE guidelines. Results: The nurses who had been working for 11 years or more, had worked with a patient diagnosed with sepsis in the last month and used a measurement tool in the diagnosis thought that it was significantly easier to determine the early warning findings of sepsis. In the study, the majority of nurses correctly identified the early findings of sepsis, but the rates of the correct responses to the variables of lactate >2 mM, leucopenia and hypothermia were low. Female gender, having a graduate degree, unit type, total work experience, having received training on sepsis and working with a patient diagnosed with sepsis in the last month made a significant difference in determining the early warning findings of sepsis accurately. Conclusions: Nurses had a good rate of identifying early sepsis findings. Yet, they could not distinguish between early sepsis and late sepsis findings. Relevance to clinical practice: The results of the study can support nursing practices in the diagnostic process by considering the factors affecting nurses’ ability to distinguish early sepsis findings from late sepsis findings and to identify them correctly.