Are Patients Aware of Sepsis?

January 29, 2018

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in children worldwide, yet, according to a survey conducted by the Sepsis Alliance,┬ámost parents cannot identify the signs and symptoms of sepsis. This survey identifies that 77 percent of parents know the word “sepsis” but only 28 percent of parents can identify the signs and symptoms of sepsis. In addition, the survey findings reveal that while more children have sepsis than cancer, parents are more likely to be extremely aware of cancer than sepsis. Of this population surveyed, 58% of parents first heard about sepsis from news and entertainment sources, while 46% of parents first heard about sepsis from a medical professional and 16% from a sepsis patient advocacy organization.

Sepsis is a medical emergency that requires early identification to access rapid treatment. The Washington State Hospital Association supports hospitals in the early identification and treatment of sepsis to improve patient outcomes. For additional resources on sepsis, see the WSHA Sepsis Home Page.

How can we be proactive in helping the community identify sepsis? As healthcare organizations how can we educate the community about early identification of sepsis, as we did with heart attack and stroke? For more information contact Sue Bergmann at


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