Researchers from the University of California at Davis have shown that electronic health records can be used effectively to predict the onset of sepsis, a leading cause of death and hospitalization in the United States. 

In a study using routine information of hospitalized patients--such as blood pressure, respiratory rate, temperature and white blood cell count--researchers analyzed data from the EHRs of 741 patients with sepsis and found that vital signs combined with serum white blood cell count can accurately predict sepsis, which is associated with increased blood levels of lactate. In addition, they found that lactate level, blood pressure and respiratory rate could determine a patient’s risk of death from sepsis. 

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