Sepsis played a direct role in the deaths of 11 million people in 2017, almost twice as many as previously estimated, according to a new study.
That represents one death for every five cases of the condition, and one-in-five deaths from all causes worldwide, researchers reported in The Lancet medical journal.
Sepsis occurs when a person’s organs cease to function properly as the result of an out-of-control immune response to infection.
Even if the condition does not kill, it can create lifelong disabilities.
Some 85% of cases in 2017 were in low- or middle-income countries, with the highest burden in sub-Saharan Africa, the South Pacific, and Asia.