CDC Launches Sepsis Campaign

"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," said CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. "We created Get Ahead of Sepsis to give people the resources they need to help stop this medical emergency in its tracks."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched an educational campaign named "Get Ahead of Sepsis" to help protect Americans from the devastating effects of sepsis. It emphasizes the importance of early recognition, timely treatment, and also preventing infections that could lead to sepsis, which is the body's extreme response to an infection. It is life threatening, and without timely treatment, can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Each year, more than 1.5 million people in the United States develop sepsis and at least 250,000 Americans die as a result.

"Get Ahead of Sepsis" calls on health care professionals to educate patients, prevent infections, suspect and identify sepsis early, and start sepsis treatment fast.

"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," said CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. "We created Get Ahead of Sepsis to give people the resources they need to help stop this medical emergency in its tracks."

Signs and symptoms of sepsis can include a combination of any of these:

  • confusion or disorientation
  • shortness of breath
  • high heart rate
  • fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold
  • extreme pain or discomfort
  • clammy or sweaty 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," said Dr. Lauren Epstein, M.D., medical officer in CDC's Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. "Get Ahead of Sepsis encourages healthcare professionals and patients to talk about steps, such as taking good care of chronic conditions, which help prevent infections that could lead to sepsis."

For more information about Get Ahead of Sepsis and to access materials, visit www.cdc.gov/sepsis.

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