Rev Esp Quimioter 2024, 37(4): 323-333

Early source control of infection in patients seen in the emergency department: a systematic review


Published: 14 May 2024


Introduction and objective. The term source (or focus) control encompasses all those physical measures that can be used to reduce the inoculum and modify those factors in the infectious medium that promote microbial growth or foreign antimicrobial defenses of the host. The main objective of this systematic review (SR) is to know and compare whether early detection and control of the focus (in less than 6 hours) in adult patients treated in the ED for severe infection or sepsis, compared to not controlling the focus or delayed focus control (more than 12 hours) is more effective and safer (improves clinical evolution, mortality, complications, hospital stay or need for ICU admission).
Method. A systematic review is carried out following the PRISMA regulations in the databases of PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, Lilacs, Cochrane, Epistemonikos, Tripdatabase and ClinicalTrials.gov from January 2000 to December 31, 2023 without language restrictions and using a combination of MESH terms: “Source Control”, “Early” “Infection OR Bacterial Infection OR Sepsis”, “Emergencies OR Emergency OR Emergency Department” and “Adults”. Observational cohort studies were included. No meta-analysis techniques were performed, but results were compared narratively.
Results. A total of 1,658 articles were identified, of which 2 that met the inclusion criteria and were classified as high quality were finally analyzed. The included studies represent a total of 2,404 patients with 678 cases in which an intervention was performed to control the focus (28.20%). In the first study, 28-day mortality was lower in patients who underwent an intervention to control the focus (12.3% vs. 22.5%; P <0.001), with an adjusted HR of 0.538 (95% CI: 0.389-0.744; P<0.001). In the second, it was demonstrated that the time elapsed from when the patient was evaluated for the first time and was hemodynamically stabilized, until the start of surgery was associated with his survival at 60 days with an OR of 0.31 (95% CI: 0.19-0.45; P <0.0001). In fact, for each hour of delay an adjusted OR of 0.29 (95% CI: 0.16-0.47; P<0.0001) is established. So if the intervention is performed before 2 hours at 60 days, 98% of the patients are still alive, if it is performed between 2-4 hours it is reduced to 78%, if it is between 4-6 hours it drops to 55%, but if it is done for more than 6 hours there will be no survivors at 60 days.
Conclusions. This review shows that source control carried out after the evaluation of patients attending the ED reduces short-term mortality (30-60 days) and that it would be advisable to implement any required source control intervention as soon as possible, ideally early (within 6 hours).

Rev Esp Quimioter 2024; 37(4): 323-333 [Texto completo PDF]