Background/purpose The cornerstone of emergency management of severe sepsis and septic shock is early (within 6 hours) goal-directed therapy, including maintenance of central venous pressure (CVP) at 8–12 mmHg. It is unclear whether there is a difference in initial (baseline) CVP between septic patients who are referred from the community and those who come from long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in Taiwan. We designed this study to investigate the difference in hemodynamic parameters between these two groups. Materials and methods Every patient with severe sepsis or septic shock who had a central venous catheter inserted via the internal jugular or subclavian vein at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital between April 2007 and October 2007 was enrolled. CVP was measured immediately at the emergency department. Patient demographics, including residence, were retrospectively recorded and analyzed. Results There were 166 evaluable patients; 125 (75.3%) came from the community and 41 (24.7%) from LTCFs. There were no significant differences in age, sex, initial body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, or leukocyte count between the two groups. However, patients who were referred from LTCFs had a significantly lower initial CVP than those from the community (5.0 ± 4.5 mmHg vs. 7.0 ± 4.8 mmHg, p = 0.023). The difference was more significant between mechanically ventilated patients from LTCFs and those from the community (5.0 ± 3.0 mmHg vs. 8.1 ± 5.6 mmHg, p = 0.006). Conclusion Severely septic patients referred from LTCFs may require more aggressive fluid resuscitation within the first 6 hours of the diagnostic criteria met at the emergency department to achieve the CVP target of early goal-directed therapy.