News: Hospitals Band Together to Fight Back Against Sepsis in Children

Hospitals Band Together to Fight Back Against Sepsis in Children

Sepsis is not only a gross sounding word but also a deceptively dangerous and fatal infection. Which is why more than 40 hospitals nationwide are coming together to a new collaboration to help reduce sepsis mortality, named Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes (IPSO).

Sepsis is a complication caused by the body's response to an infection. The infection can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. The symptoms of sepsis are a shivering fever, extreme pain, clammy or sweaty skin, disorientation, high heart rate, and shortness of breath. Doctors treat it with antibiotics.

Each year, 75,000 children and teens contract sepsis in the US. In 2013, 7,000 teens and kids died from the disease. Sepsis is so deadly because of the rapid pace of the complication and the difficulty in diagnosing it in early stages.

The goal of IPSO, organized by the Children's Hospital Association, is to reduce "reduce sepsis mortality by 75% and reduce hospital-onset severe sepsis by 75%" by 2020.

To better detect the disease, the 44 participating hospitals will begin "all-teach-all-learn program model" to better train employees to diagnose and treat sepsis. These doctors will treat any patients with any signs associated with sepsis with antibiotics and intravenous fluids as a precaution. All data from the program will be analyzed to determine what procedures result in the best outcomes most often.

The main issue is treating sepsis, that this program will address, is early stage, or "warm," sepsis — what may seem like many other benign childhood illnesses quickly devolves into a life-threatening disease. This "warm" stage is both the hardest place to detect sepsis and the most crucial to beginning treatment early.

To help prevent sepsis at home there are, make sure you are doing all that is possible to prevent infections in the first place. So get vaccinated against as many infections as you can and make sure you clean all scrapes and wounds properly and stay hygienic. If you happen to have a severe infection, make sure to be on the lookout for symptoms of sepsis and seek medical help as soon as possible.

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Cover image by Fotos GOVBA/Flickr

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