The Power of Families in the Battle against SepsisPosted on by
Guest Author: Orlaith Staunton
Do you know that it is possible to prevent sepsis by the simple act of providing antibiotics and fluids when it is suspected? We didn’t know this when our beautiful son Rory Staunton died at just 12 years of age when emergency room physicians and his pediatrician failed to recognize the symptoms of sepsis. Since his death we have worked tirelessly to raise awareness among physicians and healthcare workers as well to spread awareness among the general public about the signs and symptoms of sepsis.
Sepsis kills more Americans than AIDS, prostate cancer and breast cancer combined and it contributes to 1 in every 3 deaths in US hospitals, costing the U.S. economy $20 billion per year. Behind these staggering statistics are heartbroken parents and families who will continue their lives flying on half a wing.
My husband and I, as Co-Founders of the Rory Staunton Foundation, are honored to have met many families affected by sepsis over the past number of years. We have sat with them, cried with them, and stood hand in hand with them. Together as families our mission is to educate both the general public and our country’s decision-makers about the devastating impact of sepsis and how it can be combated. Sepsis is a killer hiding in plain sight that can be treated successfully if caught in time. If parents, doctors and members of the public are educated to look for it, it could make a profound difference to public health in America.
In New York State, the Rory Staunton Foundation worked with the State Health Commissioner and Governor Andrew Cuomo to pass Rory’s Regulations, a set of protocols that facilitate faster diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in hospitals. It is our fervent hope that all fifty states will adopt these regulations within the next five years.
On September 16th, in Washington D.C., families from across America affected by sepsis will stand with the Rory Staunton Foundation to launch a national sepsis awareness campaign and encourage all fifty states to adopt Rory’s Regulations. To join us in Washington or learn more about our work, visit www.rorystaunton.com.