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“Decoding Survival: Unraveling the Role of Apache II Score in Sepsis Mortality”


Imagine a battlefield within our bodies — a war against sepsis. This condition, triggered by infections, launches an all-out assault on our organs. But fear not! In this life-and-death struggle, we have a secret weapon: the Apache II score.

Understanding Sepsis and its Connection to the Apache Score:

Sepsis, a perilous infection of the bloodstream caused by toxin-producing bacteria, can originate from various sources, including pneumonia or urinary tract infections. Yet, it’s the body’s overreactive immune response that renders sepsis so lethal, leading to widespread organ dysfunction.

Here’s how it unfolds:

1.Infection Triggers Immune Response: Your body naturally fights infections by sending white blood cells to attack the pathogens.

2.Immune System Overreacts: In sepsis, the immune system goes into overdrive, unleashing inflammatory chemicals throughout the body.

3. Inflammation Damages Tissues: This widespread inflammation harms healthy tissues and organs, leading to problems like:

  • Clogged blood vessels: Limiting oxygen and nutrients to vital organs.

  • Leaky blood vessels: Causing fluid buildup and low blood pressure (shock).

  • Organ failure: Potentially affecting any organ, like the lungs, kidneys, or liver.

Symptoms of Sepsis:

- High fever or chills

- Rapid breathing and heart rate

- Confusion or disorientation

- Severe pain

- Low blood pressure

- Skin discoloration (mottling)

Since, Sepsis is a life-threatening condition characterized by a dysregulated immune response to infection, leading to organ dysfunction and heightened mortality risk, early detection and appropriate management are pivotal. The Apache II score, a trusted tool in assessing illness severity and predicting mortality in critically ill patients, including those with sepsis. By evaluating organ dysfunction and systemic inflammation, the Apache II score empowers clinicians to prioritize care effectively

What Is Apache II?

The Apache II score aggregates physiological variables, age, and chronic health conditions to gauge illness severity. Picture it as a battle-hardened calculator, analyzing heart rates, blood pressures, and age to foresee a patient’s fate. Each physiological parameter earns points, reflecting the situation’s urgency, while chronic health conditions add historical context to the score. As the Apache II score escalates, so does the peril. High scores correlate with heightened mortality risk, guiding treatment decisions and resource allocation.

In Simple words,

  • Acute Physiology score is the sum of the 12 individual variable points(please refer the links at the bottom for 12 variable points).

  • Add 0 points for age < 44 years; 2 points, 45–54 years; 3 points, 55–64 years; 5 points, 65–74 years; 6 points ≥ 75 years.

  • Add chronic health status points: 2 points for elective postoperative patient with immunocompromise or history of severe organ insufficiency; 5 points for nonoperative patient or emergency postoperative patient with immunocompromise or severe organ insufficiency.

APACHE II score = acute physiology score + age points + chronic health points. Minimum score = 0; maximum score = 71. Increasing score is associated with increasing risk of hospital death.

Let's see the step by step analysis of Apache score and it's mortality in Sepsis patients

1.Apache Score analysis:

The chart shows the APACHE Score for the patients and mortality percentage based on the grade of variables from 0 to 4 according to the degree of dysfunction/failure of the relevant organ.

2. Analyzing Apache Score Distribution:

In the dataset, our analysis reveals distinct Apache score distributions among sepsis and non-sepsis patients. Sepsis patients typically exhibit higher Apache II scores compared to non-sepsis patients due to the systemic inflammatory response and multi-organ dysfunction associated with sepsis. The distribution of Apache II scores among sepsis and non-sepsis patients highlights the severity of illness in septic patients and underscores the importance of early recognition and intervention.

3. Apache Score and Mortality rate analysis by age:

In our comprehensive analysis of Apache II Scores across various age groups categorized into bins, intriguing patterns have emerged. Within the younger age bins, particularly the 20–40 range, a prevalent concentration of lower Apache II Scores was observed, predominantly associated with low mortality scores. Conversely, as age bins advanced into the 40–60 and 60+ categories, a visible shift occurred. These higher age bins exhibited a broader range of Apache II Scores, notably colored to signify moderate to high mortality scores.

This visualization highlights the correlation between Apache II Scores, age demographics, and mortality risks. The increased in Apache II Scores is associated with higher mortality rates, particularly prevalent in 70–80 age groups.

4. Apache Score by ICULOS:

Higher Apache scores suggest a greater likelihood of mortality or prolonged hospitalization. The ICULOS chart illustrates a correlation between ICU length of stay (Intensive Care Unit length of stay) and the Apache Score, revealing a relationship influenced by age. Specifically, as the age increases to 65 years, a higher Apache Score is associated with prolonged ICULOS a max of 336 days, suggesting that elevated Apache Scores at this age are indicative of more extended stays in the Intensive Care Unit.

5.Mortality rate with Maximum Apache Score:

In the image below, the mortality rate estimation is based on maximum Apache score and their mortality percentages. Apache II score typically ranges from 0 to 71 or higher, with higher scores indicating more severe illness and a higher risk of mortality.

6. Crtical Patient Analysis by ApacheScore:

In the context of sepsis, a high Apache II score serves as a red flag for a more severe and potentially life-threatening condition. When the Apache II score surpasses 25, there’s a 55% chance of mortality, and if it exceeds 35, the likelihood jumps to 85%. A deep dive into critical patients from our dataset reveals alarming figures: patient ID 852 recorded an Apache score of 42, patient ID 1242 scored 41, and four patients scored 39, underscoring the gravity of their conditions.


In conclusion, the Apache scoring system is a valuable tool in assessing the severity of illness in critically ill patients, including sepsis patients. A higher Apache score generally indicates a more severe condition and a higher risk of mortality. When dealing with critical sepsis patients, the Apache score becomes an important component in guiding treatment decisions and predicting outcomes.

References :

Thankyou for reading!!

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Very informative

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