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June 3, 2009 > Recognizing and Preventing Sepsis

Recognizing and Preventing Sepsis

Free Panel Discussion Talks About Early Identification and Treatment

Sepsis is defined as the body's response to infection. Any kind of infection anywhere in the body can trigger sepsis. Sepsis can strike anyone at any age and people with pre-existing medical conditions may be at greater risk.

Sepsis patients generally may have the following symptoms: fever, chills, increased heart rate, and low blood pressure. Sepsis can develop quickly. The course of sepsis is a cascade of events that affects the body's ability to fight the infection, causing tissue damage, and resulting in organ failure.

The sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the better. Some people may not respond to treatment and eventually die. Research has shown that when you "bundle" treatments together it will improve your chances of survival.

Washington Hospital was an early adopter of the global Sepsis Campaign and also participate in the Beacon Collaborative where Bay Area hospitals come together to improve patient safety and the quality of care. As part of an international Sepsis campaign, the goal is to reduce mortality rates from Severe Sepsis by 25 percent through improved early recognition and treatment.

"We had commitment and support from senior leadership and medical staff. Under their direction, a multi-disciplinary team was formed. Members of the multidisciplinary team included Medical Staff, Nursing, Respiratory, Pharmacy, and any other disciplines that we felt have an impact on our Sepsis program," says Katie Choy, MS, RN, CNS, Nursing Director, Education and Sepsis Project Director.

Sepsis awareness saves lives

On Tuesday, June 9, there will be a free community education presentation to raise awareness and to educate our community about recognizing the signs and symptoms of sepsis and to seek treatment early to improve survival. The physician champions for the Sepsis Program are Dr. Carmen Agcaoili, Medical Director, Intensivist Program, and Dr. Kadeer Halimi, Emergency Department. Both board certified WHHS physicians will address questions about care and treatment for sepsis.

We invite you to join us from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday, June 9, in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont. To register for the seminar, please call Washington Hospital's Health Connection line at (800) 963-7070.

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