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Evidence-based practice is a crucial approach to finding the best solutions for patient outcomes. In evidence-based decision making, the core role is given to patients’ choices and actions (Ellis, 2016). By using this methodology, medical practitioners are able to find the most efficient ways of treatment their patients. Ellis (2016) emphasizes the role of evidence-based practice by mentioning that not only does it promote patients’ health, but also broadens the nurses’ professional outlook and prepares them for the challenges that are inevitable in their work.
A Summary of the Area of Interest
Sepsis presents a crucial area of investigation as it is one of the most serious health conditions that may lead to fatal outcomes. Identifying the most efficient ways of diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in elderly patients is crucial because the immune system of this age group is rather weak, and the consequences of untimely diagnosis may be dramatic (Mohajer & Darouiche, 2013). Not only does sepsis cause high levels of morbidity and mortality but it also uses a lot of healthcare resources (Cuthbertson et al., 2013). Therefore, sepsis presents a rather significant area of interest.
Based on the area of interest, the following research questions may be suggested:
- What are the possible ways of preventing sepsis?
- What types of infection may lead to sepsis, and which of them is the most dangerous?
- What are the most common symptoms of sepsis?
- What are the risk populations for sepsis?
- How long can a person live after having been diagnosed with sepsis?
To analyze the research questions for feasibility, I considered the possibility of finding an answer to each of them without spending too much time and resources. With the help of Google Scholar search engine, I was able to identify a number of scholarly articles and books containing the data that could be used to answer my research questions. For instance, Bate et al. (2013) investigate some of the ways of sepsis prevention.
Shebabi et al. (2014) research the kind of infection causing sepsis. The symptoms of sepsis and other blood infections are discussed in the article by Mohajer and Darouiche (2013). Risk populations, prevalence, and mortality of sepsis are analyzed in the article by Jawad, Lukšić, and Rafnsson (2012). Cuthbertson et al. (2013) discuss the peculiarities of patients’ lives after surviving sepsis.
The questions’ feasibility would not be so easily proved if I were to conduct research in a real-life situation to give an answer to them. However, research of scholarly articles is an accessible way of finding answers to the questions.
The preliminary PICOT question is, what is the effect of sepsis recovery time in elderly population compared to the young adults?
- P – Population: elderly patients of a rehab unit diagnosed with sepsis
- I – Intervention: screening the patients by utilizing Meditech/SIRs tool (system inflammation response)
- C – Comparison: young adult patients of a rehab unit diagnosed with sepsis
- O – Outcome: decreased mortality
- T – Timeframe: during patients’ stay at hospital
The population chosen for research is elderly people as they are one of the most fragile population groups. The suggested intervention is aimed at identifying sepsis in patients as soon as possible so that productive methods of treatment may be employed timely. The outcomes in elderly patients will be compared to those of young adults so that a conclusion could be made about the efficiency of the intervention for various age groups. The ultimate outcome of the project is decreased mortality. When sepsis is not diagnosed on time, there may be a threat to the patient’s life. Thus, by timely identification of the problem, it will become possible to save more patients. The timeframe for the project is hospital stay: there is no possibility to perform this intervention before or after the person is admitted to a hospital.
Keywords and a Rationale for Their Choice
To conduct a literature search for my PICOT question, the following keywords may be used: sepsis prevention, sepsis causes, sepsis symptoms, sepsis in elderly, sepsis risk populations, surviving sepsis, sepsis intervention, sepsis recovery time, sepsis intensive care, and sepsis treatment.
The rationale for choosing these keywords is associated with the possibility of the articles containing them to answer the PICOT question. The sources containing data on sepsis risk populations and sepsis in elderly will help to outline the major risks for elderly patients. Articles analyzing sepsis interventions, survival rates, and recovery time will be useful for predicting the outcomes of my intervention. Scholarly papers on sepsis causes, symptoms, and prevention will help to identify the ways of organizing a patient education plan.
Evidence-based practice presents a major source of finding the most effective methods of treatment. The ways of preventing and dealing with sepsis need thorough attention, as it is one of the most serious health conditions. The proposed intervention is aimed at analyzing the efficiency of diagnostic methods for elderly patients. Decreased mortality and morbidity levels are the ultimate purpose of the intervention.
Bate, J., Gibson, F., Johnson, E., Selwood, K., Skinner, R., & Chisholm, J. (2013). Neutropenic sepsis: Prevention and management of neutropenic sepsis in cancer patients (NICE guideline CG151). Archives of Disease in Childhood: Education and Practice Edition, 98(2), 73-75.
Cuthbertson, B. H., Elders, A., Hall, S., Taylor, J., MacLennan, G., Mackirdy, F., & Mackenzie, S. J. (2013). Mortality and quality of life in the five years after severe sepsis. Critical Care, 17(2), 1-8.
Ellis, P. (2016). Evidence-based practice in nursing (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
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Jawad, I., Lukšić, I., & Rafnsson, S. B. (2012). Assessing available information on the burden of sepsis: Global estimates of incidence, estimates, and mortality. Journal of Global Health, 2(1), 1-9.
Mohajer, M. A., & Darouiche, R. O. (2013). Sepsis syndrome, bloodstream infections, and device-related infections. Medical Clinics of North America, 96(6), 1203-1223.
Shebabi, Y., Sterba, M., Garrett, P. M., Rachakonda, K. S., Stephens, D., Harrigan, P., … the ANZICS Clinical Trials Group. (2014). Procalcitonin algorithm in critically ill adults with undifferentiated infection of suspected sepsis: A randomized control trial. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 190(10), 1102-1110.