Driving Community and Healthcare Clinician Awareness of SepsisPosted on by
Guest Author: Laura Messineo, RN, MHA
2014 Sepsis Hero
Sepsis Alliance Board Member
Sepsis is a medical emergency. Personally, I have seen the devastation patients and families have endured as a result of sepsis. It doesn’t have to be this way. Early identification and treatment of sepsis is critical to minimize adverse events for this patient population.
I can vividly remember learning about sepsis in 2007. Since that time, I have focused on empowering nurses to suspect sepsis and rapidly advocating for our patients to ensure they receive timely interventions. The biggest misconception about sepsis is that it only affects individuals with other medical conditions. As I educated nurses on sepsis I felt something was missing … the patient and family experience. I turned to the Sepsis Alliance to connect with sepsis survivors and those who have lost a loved one to sepsis to gain a greater understanding of the disease through a patient or families’ eyes. Daily I read the Faces of Sepsis stories to nurses so they could understand the complexity of this disease process and the importance of sepsis screening. Sepsis can be difficult to identify, but with standardized sepsis screening tools we can cast a wide net proactively identifying and treating the patients we serve.
In addition, many Americans have never heard the word sepsis. As a healthcare clinician, I feel it is our responsibility to take an active role to educate the communities we serve. Therefore I have joined forces with the Sepsis Alliance to assist in increasing community awareness of sepsis. We launched an Illinois Sepsis Challenge 5K and worked with the State of Illinois to pass a resolution declaring Illinois Sepsis Day. Increasing community and healthcare clinician awareness on the signs, symptoms and treatment of sepsis will transform the delivery of care so more people survive.
Learn more to educate yourself and others about sepsis at: http://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/links/index.html.