Every Second Counts in Sepsis Care

Every Second Counts in Sepsis Care

In the 2023 annual report, “Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns 2023,” ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) identify 10 issues that threaten the safety of patients and healthcare workers when processes and systems are not aligned. To develop this report, ECRI and ISMP “analyzed scientific literature, patient safety events, concerns reported to or investigated by either organization, and other various internal and external data to identify the most pressing issues impacting patient safety.”

Of the 10 Patient Safety Concerns, the one where every second counts is Sepsis – “Sepsis is a medical emergency where seconds count.”  According to the Global Sepsis Alliance (“GSA”), sepsis is a global health crisis:

It affects between 47 and 50 million people every year, at least 11 million die – one death every 2.8 seconds.

In discussing why delayed identification and treatment of sepsis is a top 10 patient safety concern, the ECRI/ISMP report says,

Anyone can get an infection, and any infection can lead to sepsis. Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming response to infection and can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

Each year, at least 1.7 million adult Americans develop sepsis and approximately 30% do not survive, making it the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals.

Sepsis Alliance: When It Comes to Sepsis, It’s About Time – https://www.sepsis.org/about/its-about-time/
What You Can Do to Identify and Treat Sepsis?

In April 2023, the Global Sepsis Alliance (“GSA”) hosted the 4th World Sepsis Congress. For watching 12 of the 16 sessions of the Congress, clinicians can be awarded continuing medical education (“CME”) credits.

The Congress CME sessions are designed to assist healthcare professionals to identify patients at risk of becoming septic and implementing appropriate treatment protocols. The Congress CME sessions feature engaging presentations, case studies, and discussions that are easy to grasp and apply in the real world.

The Congress CME sessions explore topics related to sepsis, including the pathophysiology of sepsis, early recognition and diagnosis, antimicrobial therapy, fluid resuscitation, and organ support. The sessions highlight the need for collaborative efforts between healthcare providers to ensure optimal patient outcomes. As well, they emphasize the significance of teamwork and effective communication in sepsis management.

Healthcare professionals can easily access the sepsis CME program online, allowing each healthcare professional to complete courses at their convenience and individual pace. 

GSA and PPAHS invite healthcare professionals, organizations, and patient advocates to join them in promoting sepsis awareness and education worldwide. To do so, please click here.

According to the ECRI/ISMP report, to identify and treat sepsis early, healthcare facilities can accomplish these three steps:

  • Develop organizational sepsis treatment safety goals that have a dedicated executive sponsor and that are accompanied by a detailed action plan and metrics (e.g., frequent blood-lactate monitoring, blood culture, monitoring for organ dysfunction).
  • Develop and clearly communicate sepsis treatment protocols or bundles that include an early warning scoring system that is built into the electronic health record (EHR).
  • Implement clinically informed human factor engineering principles to understand the usability of sepsis prevention, diagnostic, and treatment equipment and technology.
Sepsis Resources

Here are some other sepsis resources:

  • Early Detection of Sepsis Through Monitoring Saves Patient Lives
  • 5 Keys to Reducing Sepsis
  • I am running 50 miles for Sepsis, because more needs to be done

Every second counts in sepsis – do all you can to identify and treat sepsis early!

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