In response to WSHA’s advocacy work on Sepsis, Gov. Inslee declared September as sepsis Awareness Month in Washington State for the second year. WSHA requested this proclamation as part of our effort to increase public awareness of the signs and symptoms of sepsis.
Sepsis is the body’s overactive response to infection, which can lead to shock, tissue damage, organ failure and death. It affects 1.7 million people and results in 270,000 deaths every year in the United States. There are sepsis survivors in every state facing long-term health challenges and families and friends who have lost a loved one to sepsis. Sepsis awareness is critical to rapid diagnosis and treatment, which can prevent as many as 80 percent of sepsis deaths.
This Sepsis Awareness Month, WSHA is asking our members to consider taking two actions to fight sepsis in Washington. The first action is to make note of the signs of sepsis and share this information with your colleagues. A quick way to remember sepsis symptoms is the acronym, TIME. TIME stands for Temperature, Infection, Mental decline and feeling Extremely ill.
The second action we propose is that members register a “sepsis coordinator” – or any similar position – with the Sepsis Coordinator Network. The Sepsis Coordinator Network is a free avenue for sharing resources, guidance and experience between health care professionals fighting sepsis across the nation. I hold this position for WSHA, as the Safety & Quality Director leading the Sepsis and Septic Shock quality initiative.
If you would like more information about sepsis, or to discuss resources for raising sepsis awareness in your facility, I encourage you to reach out to me directly.