Posted 08/20/2018

Pictured above, left to right: Charlena McDermott, Data Analysis in Quality Management, and Kathy Howard, Infection Control work to educate employees and the community on the importance of infection control.

September is Sepsis Awareness Month, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Murray-Calloway County Hospital (MCCH) want to stress the importance of detecting this life-threatening condition early and taking preventative measures. MCCH will help spread awareness through educating employees, putting up posters and fact sheets throughout the hospital, and distributing educational material during community screenings.

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threating response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. Sepsis happens when an infection you already have —in your skin, lungs, urinary tract, or somewhere else—triggers a chain reaction throughout your body. Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Because sepsis can not only be treated, but prevented, thousands of lives can be saved each year by simply raising awareness of its symptoms.

Sepsis Statistics
• Sepsis is a medical emergency that kills over 250,000 Americans a year – one every two minutes – which is more than prostate cancer, breast cancer, and AIDS, combined.
• More than 42,000 children develop severe sepsis each year and 4,400 of these children lose their life, more than from pediatric cancers.
• Someone is diagnosed with sepsis every 20 seconds in the U.S.
• According to the 2017 Sepsis Alliance Annual Survey, only 55 percent of adults have even heard of sepsis.
• Sepsis is a worldwide emergency. More than 26 million people from around the globe are affected by sepsis each year and is the largest killer of children – more than 5 million each year.

What causes sepsis?
• When germs get into a person’s body, they can cause an infection. If that infection isn’t stopped, it can cause sepsis.

Who is at risk?
• Anyone can get an infection and any infection can lead to sepsis. Certain people are at higher risk:
o Adults 65 or older, people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease, people with weakened immune systems, and children younger than one.

Symptoms of sepsis may include shivering and fever, extreme pain, accelerated heartbeat, sleepy and difficult to rouse, skin pale or discolored, or shortness of breath. If you suspect someone you know or love may have sepsis, see a medical professional immediately, call 911, or go to a hospital and say, “I am concerned about sepsis.”

For more information about sepsis awareness month in September at Murray-Calloway County Hospital, contact the marketing department at 270.762.1381.