Gov. Stitt proclaims September as Sepsis Awareness Month

Posted on: 9/6/19

On Aug. 26, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a proclamation proclaiming September as “Sepsis Awareness Month” in Oklahoma. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, amputations and death. As many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented by rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Are YOU aware?
  • Sepsis is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer, killing more than 270,000 people (one person every two minutes) each year.  
  • In the U.S., in one year, more than 1.7 million people (one person every 20 seconds) were diagnosed with sepsis.  
  • The risk of death from sepsis increases by as much as 8% for every hour that treatment is delayed.
  • Severe sepsis symptoms indicate signs of organ dysfunction, such as difficulty breathing (problems with the lungs), low or no urine output (kidneys), abnormal liver tests (liver), and changes in mental status (brain). Nearly all patients with severe sepsis require treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU).
  • Septic shock is diagnosed when blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels.
  • Sepsis can be caused by any type of infection, bacterial, viral, fungal, or even parasitic.
  • Sepsis cannot always be prevented, but many infections can be avoided with good and consistent hygiene and the use of vaccinations.
  • Sepsis has been named the most expensive inpatient cost in American hospitals, with an average of more than $18,000 per hospital stay. With over 1.5 million sepsis hospital stays per year, costs are estimated at $27 billion each year.
When it comes to sepsis, remember: It’s about time. Watch for:
Temperature (higher or lower than normal)
Infection (may have signs and symptoms of an infection)
Mental Decline (confused, sleepy, difficult to arouse)
Extremely Ill (“I feel like I might die,” severe pain or discomfort)
What can you do to increase Sepsis Awareness? Access the following sepsis resources:
  • Staff Education - The Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SCC): educate all hospital staff on the signs and symptoms of sepsis, early identification, and treatment. Find evidence-based practice guidelines here.
  • Screening Tools: assess all adult ED patients using a sepsis screening tool and screen inpatients each shift. Find sepsis screening tools here.
  • Sepsis Awareness Month for Patient and Staff Awareness: Spread sepsis awareness in your hospital by accessing and sharing free resources and infographics for Sepsis Awareness Month, available here.
For additional sepsis resources, click here.

Please contact Patrice Greenawalt, MS, RN, OHA clinical initiatives manager, for questions or additional information: