Did New York sepsis regulations improve outcomes?


Some states have used laws and regulations to help improve health outcomes. An investigation examines whether New York’s sepsis regulations helped.

In 2013 New York State enacted regulations on sepsis in the hope of improving pediatric sepsis outcomes. An investigation into the effectiveness of the regulations was published in Pediatrics.1

Investigators used hospital discharge data from New York and 4 control states (Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey) from 2011 to 2015. Overall, they looked at 9436 children who were admitted to 237 hospitals.

Unadjusted pediatric sepsis mortality decreased in New York and the control states. Following primary analysis, no significant effect from the regulations was found on mortality trends. However, in a prespecified sensitivity analysis that excluded hospitals in the New York metropolitan area that had been involved in earlier quality improvement programs found that the regulations were associated with improved mortality. Furthermore, regulations were tied to improved mortality trends in certain subgroups such as children who weren’t admitted through the emergency department and children who had previously been healthy.

The researchers concluded that implementing statewide regulations to improve sepsis outcomes were overall linked to improved mortality trends. This was particularly true in subpopulations of patients.


1. Gigli K, Davis B, Yabes J, et al. Pediatric outcomes after regulatory mandates for sepsis care. Pediatrics. 2020:145(6):e20193353. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-3353

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Tina Tan, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, FPIDS, editor in chief, Contemporary Pediatrics, professor of pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, pediatric infectious diseases attending, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
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