On World Sepsis Day, September 13, the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are urging all health systems, policymakers, healthcare workers, and civilians to develop a concerted effort on sepsis prevention, diagnosis, and management to save lives.
Mortality rates for sepsis, one of the most widespread and deadly medical conditions in all parts of the world, have decreased by at least 20 percent through collective action in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, as well as in lower- and middle-income countries, such as Brazil.
“We call on all nations to commit to the goals and key targets to reduce sepsis deaths globally by 20 percent by 2025,” said Mr Harvey Duncan, CEO of Sepsis Trust NZ. “In order to achieve this, all nations need to ensure that sufficient treatment and rehabilitation facilities, as well as trained staff, are available for the care of sepsis patients.”
“It is also imperative that sepsis be a child health priority in all nations because of the lingering and disproportionate societal and economic burden sepsis inflicts on children and infants.”
In addition to reducing the deaths from sepsis by at least 20 percent, other key goals for all countries include:
- Increasing sepsis survival for children, newborns, and adults in all countries through the promotion and adoption of early recognition systems and standardized emergency treatment.
- Monitoring the time taken for sepsis patients to receive standardized interventions, antimicrobials, and intravenous fluids.
- Tracking and reporting the survival rates from sepsis, both in individual countries and an international registry.
- Improving public and professional understanding and awareness of sepsis, such that sepsis becomes a ‘household’ word, and families’ expectations of standardized care will have risen and will empower questioning of any delays in care.
- Establishing training for sepsis as a medical emergency among health professionals, and in all relevant undergraduate and postgraduate curricula.
- Setting standards and established rehabilitation resources for follow-up care after discharge from hospitals for patients who have suffered sepsis.
The GSA, its member organizations, regional sepsis alliances, and partners encourage the implementation of recent sepsis guidelines that will help improve prevention, recognition, and treatment of sepsis throughout the world.
In 2017, the World Health Assembly adopted the WHO Resolution on Sepsis – to improve, prevent, diagnose, and manage sepsis through increased education and training in both developed and developing countries.
“This resolution is a quantum leap in the global fight against sepsis and will save countless lives all over the world,” said Mr Duncan. “Every year on September 13, events raising awareness on from medical education, to information for lay people, sport activities, fundraising events like pink picnics, are organized all over the world. Last year, more than 60 countries participated.”
Sepsis affects at least 30 million people annually worldwide, killing 7 to 9 million of them. Often referred to as ‘blood poisoning’ or ‘toto pirau’, sepsis (mate whakatāoke) is the life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It is frequently confused with other conditions in its early stages, with delayed recognition of the signs and symptoms quickly leading to multi-system organ failure, and, ultimately, death.
“Sepsis needs to be treated as an emergency – every delay in administration of antimicrobials and other measures increases mortality rates on an hourly basis,” said Dr Paul Huggan, infectious disease specialist at Waikato Hospital. “Sepsis is the final common pathway to death from most infectious diseases worldwide, including pneumonia, Ebola, Malaria, and influenza. All nations need to step up their efforts to curb the prevalance of this condition.”
Sepsis Trust New Zealand is a member of the Global Sepsis Alliance, a non-profit charity organization with the mission to provide global leadership in reducing the worldwide burden of sepsis. The GSA is the initiator of World Sepsis Day on September 13 and World Sepsis Congress, a series of free online congresses bringing knowledge about sepsis to all parts of the world, among other initiatives. The GSA works closely with its member organizations, patient advocacy groups, professional societies, healthcare authorities, and governments to implement changes on how sepsis is prioritized, diagnosed, and treated all around the world, guided by the WHO Resolution on Sepsis.
To find out more, visit:
Global Sepsis Alliance
World Sepsis Day