CDC has launched Get Ahead of Sepsis, a national educational initiative that highlights the importance of early detection and rapid treatment of sepsis, according to a press release.
According to the CDC, more than 1.5 million people in the United States develop sepsis each year. Because sepsis often develops outside of the hospital, public education is critical to provide patients with the knowledge to detect the signs and prevent infections that could lead to this disease.
“Detecting sepsis early and starting immediate treatment is often the difference between life and death. It starts with preventing the infections that lead to sepsis,” CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, said in the release. “We created Get Ahead of Sepsis to give people the resources they need to help stop this medical emergency in its tracks.”
Get Ahead of Sepsis provides resources for health care professionals and patients such as fact sheets, brochures, infographics, social media and shareable videos, so they can understand the risks and recognize the signs of sepsis and act quickly to begin treatment. The initiative urges health care professionals to educate patients, prevent infections, rapidly detect and begin treatment as quickly as possible. It also encourages patients and their families to prevent infections, look for signs and symptoms of sepsis and get medical care immediately if they suspect sepsis may emerge or if an infection is not improving. Signs and symptoms of sepsis can include confusion, shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, fever, extreme pain/discomfort and clammy skin.
“Health care professionals, patients, and their family members can work as a team to prevent infections and be alert to the signs of sepsis,” Lauren Epstein, MD, medical officer in CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, said in the press release. “Get Ahead of Sepsis encourages health care professionals and patients to talk about steps, such as taking good care of chronic conditions, which help prevent infections that could lead to sepsis.”
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Disclosures: Fitzgerald and Epstein work at the CDC.