Sepsis Awareness Month

September is Sepsis Awareness Month!  Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening reaction to infection and is the leading cause of hospital death in America.  Based on research data, the Sepsis Alliance estimates that as many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented with rapid evaluation and treatment.  For every hour treatment is delayed, the risk of death increases by as much as 8%.  Therefore, educating the public about sepsis is paramount to saving lives.

Here are some ideas for Sepsis Awareness Month!

Toolkits

Sepsis Alliance Toolkit

CDC Sepsis Toolkit (infographics, social media messages, education for patients and healthcare professionals)

World Sepsis Day Toolkit (Infographics, pocket cards, wallpapers, fact sheets)

If you have an hour and no budget:

  • Put information about sepsis from the toolkits above on your intranet and/or your patient-facing website.
  • Ask your administrative leaders if you can send out a “blast” email about Sepsis Awareness Month to all of your staff
  • Email nurse managers/clinical educators and make sure they know about the Sepsis Institute (free sepsis education that earns staff CE credits!) so they can share with learners.
  • Ask your IT department to put the Sepsis Awareness Month Logo on the background or screen saver of your computers (bonus if these screen savers show on workstations in patient rooms!)
  • Ask your social media staff to share some of the sepsis awareness month content in the toolkit on Facebook or Twitter for your institution (and also you can share on your personal accounts!)
  • Put a sepsis awareness banner or message in your email signature (you can leave it there year-round too!!)
  • If your hospital or health system has a newsletter they send periodically to the community, ask to include a sepsis story in this newsletter.
  • Make a goal to tell 5 people in your life who don’t already know about sepsis what sepsis is.

If you have two hours and a small budget:

  • Print out posters or other educational materials from the toolkits and post them in staff breakrooms/restrooms, etc.  (don’t forget to do this in non-clinical areas too like housekeeping, engineering, IT, etc.)
  • Print out posters or other educational materials from the toolkits and put in waiting rooms, resource centers, other patient/family facing areas of your facility.
  • Purchase or make Sepsis Awareness Month Ribbons and distribute in your facility https://www.sepsis.org/shop/awareness-ribbons/

If you have more time and more money:

  • Purchase Sepsis Awareness “SWAG”  pens, badge pulls, headbands, etc. and hand out to staff.
  • Decorate patient-facing bulletin boards on nursing units.
  • Host an awareness event in your cafeteria or lobby to hand out information from the toolkits to patients, families, and staff.
  • Make Coffee Sleeves with signs and symptoms of sepsis and ask your cafeteria to use them in September (see example from UW Medicine below)
  • Plan a fundraising awareness event:  fun run, trivia night, other sports tournament.

Got other ideas for Sepsis Awareness Month?

Email rosemaryg@wsha.org

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