To identify if triage hypothermia (<36.0 °C) among emergency department (ED) encounters with sepsis are independently associated with mortality..
..Of 1.2 billion ED encounters (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0–1.3 billion), 3.1 million (95% CI 2.7–3.5 million) met the explicit sepsis definition; 7.4% (95% CI 75.2–9.7%) had triage hypothermia. The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for hypothermia for in-hospital mortality was 6.82 (95% CI 3.08–15.22). The severe sepsis definition identified 3.5 million (95% 3.1–4.0 million) encounters; 30.3% (95% CI 25.0–34.6%) had triage hypothermia. The aOR for hypothermia with mortality was 4.08 (95% CI 2.09–7.95). Depending on sepsis definition, 78.1–84.4% had other systemic inflammatory response syndrome vital sign abnormalities.
Up to one in three patients with sepsis have triage hypothermia, which is independently associated with mortality. 10–20% of patients with hypothermic sepsis do not have other vital sign abnormalities.