Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection. It can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and result in death. Sepsis can be difficult to identify and diagnose and is a Medical Emergency.
How St. Joseph's is tackling Sepsis:
- Screen every patient presenting to the ED for signs and symptoms of sepsis.
- Admitted patients are screened for sepsis daily and if there is a change in condition.
- If a patient has a positive screening for sepsis, a sepsis alert is initiated and a specialized multidisciplinary team responds. This team includes a physician, critical care nurse, pharmacist, phlebotomist, x-ray technician and respiratory therapist.
- The team focuses on rapid administration of antibiotic therapy and fluid resuscitation as well as on locating the cause of the infection.
- Using this approach, we have seen dramatic improvement in our outcomes for patients with sepsis, saving hundreds of lives over the past three years.
Collaborating with Facilities in our Community:
- Working with partners within the community on sepsis prevention and early recognition through infection prevention, vaccinations, chronic disease management, and appropriate antibiotic use.
- Recently initiated specialized education with health care facilities within our area to improve recognizing sepsis and initiating treatment timely.
Patients and their families can:
- Talk to a health care provider about managing chronic conditions and getting vaccines.
- Practice good hygiene, such as handwashing.
- Learn sepsis signs and symptoms. Know if you are at higher risk. If sepsis is suspected, get immediate medical attention. Ask, “Could it be sepsis?”
Find out more about sepsis by visiting cdc.gov/vitalsigns/sepsis.