Prevalence of sepsis

An estimated 18,000 Australian adults are treated in intensive care units for sepsis annually, of which almost 5,000 will die. This is more than twice the number of road toll deaths. Of those who survive, half will be left with a permanent disability or impaired function.

In 2019-2020, around 21,000 people were admitted to Queensland public hospitals with sepsis. Of these 21,000 patients, more than 2,000 died.

In Queensland, sepsis represents a leading cause of preventable death and persistent harm in children with mortality rates higher than road toll deaths and leukaemia. One-third of children who survive sepsis will suffer long-term disability such as loss of limb/s or neurocognitive impairment.

Research conducted by the Australian Sepsis Network indicates awareness of sepsis in the community is low. Approximately 40 per cent of Australians have never heard of sepsis.

Sepsis fast facts

Last updated: 4 June 2021