World Sepsis Day Observed Sept. 13
Texas Medical Center member institutions will join forces Sept. 13 to raise awareness of a disease largely unknown to the public and poorly understood by professionals.
The event highlights sepsis – often misunderstood by the public as “blood poisoning.”
Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Shock, multiple organ failure and death may ensue, especially if the condition is not recognized early and treated promptly.
But sepsis is often diagnosed too late, because the clinical symptoms and laboratory signs that are used to diagnose the condition – like raised temperature, increased pulse and breathing rate, and white blood cell count are nonspecific and often associated with other diseases. As a result, one-half to one-third of patients die due to delayed response.
Rapid initiation of simple, timely interventions including antimicrobials, intravenous fluids, and targeted treatment to restore circulation can cut the risk of dying in half. But unfortunately, sepsis is still largely overlooked.
And the problem is getting worse, due in part to an aging population and the development of drug-resistant infections. Today, sepsis claims more lives than bowel and breast cancer combined. Worldwide, an estimated 20 to 30 million people are affected each year.
To stem the rising tide and reduce the increase in the numbers of deaths from sepsis, the Global Sepsis Alliance – a group of health care leaders from across the globe – are sponsoring World Sepsis Day Sept. 13 at various venues throughout the world.
In the Texas Medical Center, the observance takes place at the John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons waterwall building, at 6550 Bertner at Moursund.
Texas Medical Center institutions will host information booths from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at noon, sepsis survivors will tell their stories and speakers from member institutions will discuss warning signs and ways to prevent sepsis.
For more information, visit www.world-sepsis-day.org.