Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Sepsis Heroes

I was so pleased to be invited by Dr. Jim O'Brien to participate in the Sepsis Alliance 2014 Sepsis Heroes ceremony in New York City.  Here are the awardees:

Laura Messineo is a critical care nurse who is passionate about increasing sepsis awareness among healthcare professionals and the public. Although she has been a nurse since 1991, it would be several years before she first heard the word "sepsis" being used. She has since become a driving force in her healthcare facility and community in promoting sepsis awareness and education.

"I have challenged myself to learn everything I can about sepsis through lectures, articles, and attending conferences such as the American Association of Critical Care Nurses' (AACN) National Teaching Institute (NTI) and the Society of Critical Care Medicine's Annual Congress."

According to Ms. Messineo, sepsis awareness is important because it is a treatable disease process, which can result in a positive outcome if early goal directed therapy is initiated quickly. Community awareness and clinician education is vital in decreasing septic shock mortality and improve the lives of sepsis survivors. Laura plans on continuing to speak nationally on sepsis, writing grants for more sepsis education, and championing national regulations for sepsis screening.
Sepsis remains a leading cause of maternal mortality around the world, even in the 21st century. Raising awareness about prompt treatment of infections, and improving hygiene and conditions where women deliver their babies will reduce the risk of sepsis and help to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for both mother and child.

Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign founded to increase education and support for the global reduction of maternal mortality around the world. EMC's work in the United States ensures that more mothers have access to prenatal care and childbirth education.

"People are shocked when they learn that women are still dying in childbirth. We are committed to informing the public about the challenges and solutions."
The timing of sepsis suspicion, diagnosis, and management are essential to improved outcomes. That first hour in treating sepsis is as vital as that first hour after someone has a heart attack or stroke. Intermountain Health, a nonprofit system in Utah, has put into place a sepsis bundle for its dianosis and management. This bundle, which included 11 clinical elements to be addressed during the first 24 hours of treatment, resulted in a drop in mortality rate from sepsis from 25 percent to around 9 percent. This equates to saving about 100 lives per year.

Virtually everyone on the healthcare team is involved in the sepsis bundle, including nurses, emergency medicine physicians, hospitalists, critical care physicians, transport specialists, respiratory therapists, radiologists, laboratory technicians, and other providers. Intermountain Health hopes to expand sepsis awareness beyond their emergency departments in order meet patients with wherever sepsis is diagnosed, be it in the general hospital wards, clinics, or at home.
Helene and Jeff Zehnder were nominated and chosen as 2014 Sepsis Heroes for their work in raising sepsis awareness. While Helene is a nurse and is familiar with sepsis, when a family friend died of the illness, the couple realized that work needed to be done to raise sepsis awareness in their community. The result was the inaugural 5K Walkathon/Road Race, called Step on Sepsis.

Helene Zehnder has been a nurse for 35 years. She is currently the Director of Medical-Surgical Nursing and Magnet Program Director at Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C. She has a BSN from the University of Pennsylvania and has a masters degree in nursing from Widener University in Chester, Pa. Member – of the NC Nurses Association, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), she is the current president of the Greater Raleigh Chapter of AACN. Helene was named one of the Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina in 2013.

Jeff Zehnder is a graduate of Stockton State University in New Jersey with a degree in business administration. He worked in the corporate world for many years and now is a home inspection business owner in Cary, N.C. He is an avid reader and participates in multiple sprint triathlon and 5K events. He is the president of the neighborhood homeowners association and volunteered with Boy Scouts of America for many years.


Anonymous said...

Come on. Really sepsis Alliance. Don't you think this is a charitable foundation by Dr. jim to create a personal income stream and salary for himself?

Paul Levy said...

Actually, he does not take money from the organization and, in fact, donates to it.

I'm curious why you would choose to say such things and thereby attempt to discredit folks who are trying to do good.

e-Patient Dave said...

I agree, Anonymous - what's your motive here, to discredit and discourage work to save lives?? Are you disputing that this work is important - even if it were for-profit, which it's not??

Has anyone you know ever been affected by sepsis? I know people who have, and it's a terrible thing to watch.

"100 lives saved" (to pick just one datum above) doesn't sound like a lot, but it's two disastrous funerals prevented every week, from that one provider! Have you ever seen the tears of a family affected by a totally unexpected death? It's a noble, noble work to teach others how to prevent that.

Do you disagree that this is a good work, or do you agree it's good and deny that it's happening, or what?

Anonymous said...

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