Thursday, September 01, 2011

September Sepsis

Dr. Jim O'Brien at OSU Medical Center reminds us that September is Sepsis Awareness Month. Sepsis Alliance is asking its partners and friends to help spread the word and encourage action to as many people as possible. 

How can you help? To encourage awareness of sepsis, SA is planning some activities for Sepsis Awareness Month and we need your help to pass on this information by forwarding this message to friends, family members, and colleagues who may also be interested in helping. 

According to a 2011 poll undertaken for SA, most Americans still don’t know what sepsis is. The telephone survey, conducted in June 2011 by Harris Interactive® on behalf of SA among 1,003 adults, revealed that more than half of Americans (58%) still have never heard of "sepsis." Even fewer could actually define it. 

The results of this poll remain significant. The fact that so few people have heard of sepsis underlines the need for increased efforts to improve education and awareness of sepsis.  As part of SA’s continuing efforts, September has been declared Sepsis Awareness Month: Say Sepsis. Save Lives.

What people may learn from the SA website or by following SA through social media:

·         Every year, over 1 million Americans are affected by sepsis. Through  September a “sepsis victim counter,” featured on the SA site, will count the number of new cases of sepsis that are expected to occur throughout the month.

·         The site will have a dedicated Sepsis Awareness Month page to highlight what SA is doing throughout September. There will be information about sepsis, as well as highlights of Faces of Sepsis stories, stories of real people who have had sepsis.

·         Social media (Facebook and Twitter) will play a large role in Sepsis Awareness Month. By tweeting sepsis facts and by highlighting sepsis information and stories on Facebook, SA supporters can help spread the word by retweeting and by sharing Facebook statuses on the own FB page.

·         Members of the public will be encouraged to vote on a Sepsis Awareness bumper sticker slogan.
We know that if sepsis is caught early (suspect sepsis) and it is treated as a medical emergency with antibiotics and fluids, thousands of lives can be saved. The establishment of Sepsis Awareness Month aims to continue increasing awareness among the general public and healthcare professionals across the country.


Patricia Noga said...

Thanks for your posting on sepsis. I'm the clinical affairs V.P. at the Massachusetts Hospitals Association and I just want to note that Massachusetts hospitals are facing this problem with added urgency. In fact over the next few months through an initiative that we've developed at MHA called M-LiNk (Mortality: Learning-in-Network) we're focusing exclusively on sepsis and how hospitals can combat it.

We've had a great response from dozens of hospitals coming together to learn "best practices" – that is the strategies and day-to-day processes that can directly result in a reduction in sepsis. On September 8 we're co-sponsoring a conference with the state and others to focus on "root cause analysis" – how to conduct a thorough investigation to get at the bottom of what went wrong when a sepsis or other negative event occurs.

We're following that up with webinars in October and November on, respectively, how to detect sepsis and initiating protocols for managing it, and on how to implement sepsis-fighting systems and clinical processes. Healthcare professionals from hospitals across the state will be presenting their strategies and results in preventing sepsis.

It's been gratifying to see MDs, RNs, quality improvement leaders, and others all coming together to share what they know and what's worked best for them in combating sepsis.

James M. O'Brien, Jr., M.D., M.S. said...

Thanks Paul for promoting Sepsis Awareness Month. And thank you for sharing the terrific news, Patricia. The great hope related to sepsis is that we do not need new discoveries, new therapies to begin saving lives. We simply need to do better. Thank you and MHA for leading the way.
-Jim O'Brien, MD, Sepsis Alliance