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Sepsis Deaths Can Be Easily Prevented - World Sepsis Day

Sepsis Deaths Can Be Easily Prevented - World Sepsis Day

Written by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD
Article Reviewed by 
The Medindia Medical Review Team on September 12, 2018 at 5:21 PM
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  • World Sepsis Day is observed worldwide on the 13th September to create and spread awareness about sepsis and prevention of sepsis and sepsis related deaths
  • Sepsis occurs when the immune system releases chemicals to fight severe infection, that instead damage several organs causing multiple organ failure and death
  • Nearly six to nine million persons die due to sepsis annually; this can be avoided by prevention of infections as well as early diagnosis and treatment of infections

World Sepsis Day - History and Activities

World Sepsis Day was established by the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA) in 2012 with the aim of creating and spreading awareness about preventing sepsis and related deaths. The GSA is a non-profit organization and works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), governments, and various groups involved in crusading against sepsis.

Since 2016 the GSA has been organizing the World Sepsis Congress in September to spread the message of sepsis awareness to all parts of the world. Registration is free and all talks and presentations will be available on YouTube and Podcasts after the event.

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Sepsis Deaths Can Be Easily Prevented - World Sepsis Day

Currently about 30 million cases are diagnosed with sepsis each year of which upto a nine million die, figures testifying to the high death rates associated with sepsis. The GSA hopes to reduce sepsis deaths by 20 percent by 2020 and envisions a world free of sepsis.

In a momentous decision, the World Health Organization adopted a resolution on the 26th May 2017 declaring sepsis as a global health priority, with the need to prevent, diagnose and treat sepsis early and reduce deaths due to sepsis. This is a shot in the arm and a signifies a major step in the global fight against sepsis.

What We Can Do to Raise Awareness About Sepsis and Sepsis Deaths

Sepsis is something that is not often talked about and most persons are unaware of the entity. Even now when a person admitted to the hospital for a lung infection or burns dies, the cause of death is stated to be pneumonia or "complications from burns". Since cause of death is rarely stated to be due to sepsis, awareness about this condition remains dismal.

We can help raise awareness by sharing information about sepsis and preventing sepsis related deaths in several ways. The pink color has been chosen to represent the fight against sepsis and can be put to creative and imaginative use in social media messages or charity events to raise funds in the crusade against sepsis.
  • Put up a post or share facts and figures about sepsis on social media such as Facebook
  • Tweet about World Sepsis Day with the hashtag #wsd18, #preventsepsisdeaths #September13WorldSepsisDay, #beatsepsis
  • Post an Instagram page or story, or put up a post titled @WorldSepsisDay
  • Include a pink logo, banner or button in your website for a short period of time to raise awareness about WSD
  • Print and visual media can be involved in the crusade against sepsis by covering facts about sepsis prominently, organizing experts to speak on the subject or even survivors of sepsis to talk about their experiences
  • Hospitals and clinics can download World Sepsis Day posters from the internet and display it prominently in their offices
  • Hospitals and medical colleges can organize CMEs on sepsis and prevention for students and staff to raise awareness about this global health concern
  • At the community level, we can organize distribution of leaflets about sepsis and its prevention at prominent locations such as parks and malls
  • Charity events with a pink based theme such as walks, marathon, baking sales or gala dinners to raise funds for the fight against sepsis and sepsis research

Key Facts on Sepsis

  • Sepsis is the leading cause of death worldwide due to infections but awareness remains poor
  • Mortality rates due to sepsis remain high
  • Infants and the elderly with relatively weaker immune systems are especially susceptible
  • Sepsis causes more deaths than heart attacks and is the most expensive to treat
  • Emerging multidrug resistance to Gram negative bacterial infections is an important cause
  • More aggressive surgical interventions, especially in susceptible groups due to newer advances in medicine increases risk of development of sepsis

Preventing and Reducing Sepsis and Sepsis Deaths

  • Vaccination of children, elderly and persons with reduced immunity such as patients with cancer or those receiving cancer chemotherapy, persons whose spleen has been removed is very important to reduce risk of sepsis
  • Susceptible groups should be administered prophylactic antibiotic before any surgical procedure
  • Infants and elderly should avoid or reduce contact with persons having infection
  • Doctors should avoid indiscriminate use of antibiotics as it increases emergence of resistant bacteria
  • Maintain proper hygiene in general by frequent hand washing before eating, after visits to toilet. Clean and dress wounds regularly
  • Control of blood sugar in diabetic patients and early treatment of wounds and infections is a must
  • Maintain clean and aseptic conditions in hospital wards and delivery rooms
References :
  1. World Sepsis Day 2018 - (http://www.estor.it/en/world-sepsis-day-2018/)
  2. What We Do - (https://www.global-sepsis-alliance.org/whatwedo)
  3. September 13 - World Sepsis Day - (https://www.world-sepsis-day.org/wsd2018/)
  4. 2nd World Sepsis Congress - (https://www.worldsepsiscongress.org/about/)

Source: Medindia

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