Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sepsis heroes

Dr. Jim O'Brien reminds me (and now you!) about this important event in New York City On September 12.  Ticket information here.  It will honor the following people:

Gary Black, sepsis survivor and author of “Gyroscope: A Survival of Sepsis.” Gary is one of SA’s first Faces of Sepsis. On his website, Gary describes the book: “GYROSCOPE reveals my entire harrowing experience of cascading to the edge of death from severe sepsis. It explores my mental, physical, and spiritual traumas and triumphs from onset to recovery. It also includes 52 illustrations that express my pain, anguish, dreams, delirium, and personal awakenings, a brief medical glossary, and research references.”

Since publication of his book, Gary has given talks and presentations to many groups about the seriousness and impact of sepsis. Last September, Gary was invited by the Society of Critical Care Medicine to participate in the Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) Stakeholders conference. His point of view as a sepsis survivor is invaluable to the people who work to fight the disease. Read more about Gary here.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo: New York State Governor Cuomo is the first U.S. politician to directly address the issue of sepsis and the importance of sepsis awareness. During the State of the State address earlier this year, Gov. Cuomo announced that New York State will be the first state to require that all hospitals adopt best practices for the early identification and treatment of the disease. The measures are to be implemented through regulations issued by the Department of Health led by State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H..

These initiatives, together called "Rory's Regulations," pay particular attention to the needs of New York State’s children. Due to the tireless advocacy of Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton, whose 12-year old son, Rory, died of sepsis in April 2012, the proposed regulations will ensure that results of critical tests will be transmitted to parents in easy-to-understand terms upon their child’s hospital discharge. As well, the hospitals will have to post a “Parent’s Bill of Rights,” so parents are aware of the new regulations. Regulations like these enacted by Gov. Cuomo help raise sepsis awareness among both healthcare professionals and the general public and ultimately save lives.

GE Healthcare Education Services. The education arm of GE Healthcare has been in a leader in raising awareness about sepsis among healthcare professionals. Their push for sepsis education in their Nursing Library of Online Education, including their video Communication: Sounding the Alarm for Sepsis, has allowed nurses from all over to benefit from information that they may otherwise not be able to access. GE Healthcare also provides scientific posters and professional education sessions about sepsis at professional conferences, such as at the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Since nurses are the front-line healthcare professionals, this education and awareness is invaluable.

David Goldhill, author of “Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father--and How We Can Fix It. David, who is president and CEO of GSN (the Gameshow Network), lost his father to sepsis and after learning more about what happened, he wrote his book. “Catastrophic Care.” David gives many talks about issues regarding health care and he begins his talks by telling the audience how his father died. In March, David was the keynote speaker at a major conference for healthcare journalists – people who need to hear the word “sepsis.” Read more about David here.

Mark Lambert, former president of Sepsis Alliance. Mark was the first president of Sepsis Alliance and was instrumental in helping shape and guide Sepsis Alliance. Mark not only helped put together the team that works behind the scenes, but he was a major force behind developing SA’s mission. He also helped build the board of directors, spearheaded the creation of Sepsis Alliance’s first video, Sepsis: Emergency, and brought together the Merinoff Symposium 2010: Sepsis - Speaking with One Voice – an important turning point in how healthcare professionals around the world viewed sepsis. Read more about Mark here.

Surviving Sepsis Campaign. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) was formed in 2002, a joint effort between the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine. The SSC has since developed evolving guidelines for the management of severe sepsis and shock, something that had not previously existed. The SSC is committed to collecting data from 10,000 hospitals worldwide, to apply the guidelines to 100 percent of patients in whom the diagnosis is suspected, and developing a strategy to improve the care of septic patients in under-resourced areas. Recently, study findings showed that this is resulting improvement in sepsis care.

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