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A Matter of Life and Death: How States Are Tackling Sepsis as Public Policy

November 25, 2019




Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by the body’s extreme response to an infection and can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis can be caused by a wide range of infections but is most commonly linked to infections of the lungs, kidneys, skin, and gut. Based on CDC estimates, at least 1.7 million American adults developed sepsis in 2014 and nearly 270,000 died as a result of sepsis. CDC investigations showed that sepsis begins outside of the hospital for four out of every five patients. While preventing infections and illness is critical to reduce the risk of sepsis, early detection and immediate treatment is often the difference between life and death. Many opportunities exist to improve sepsis prevention, detection, and treatment and improve patient outcomes. Our experts discuss the national burden and epidemiology of sepsis, the importance of raising awareness among healthcare personnel and the community, and case examples of state efforts to promote policy changes relating to sepsis, including options for state-level policy to identify and/or prevent sepsis.

Guests:

  • Howard Zucker, MD, JD, Commissioner of Health for New York State
  • Anthony Fiore, MD, MPH, Chief of the Epidemiology Research and Innovations Branch, CDC Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
  • Ciaran Staunton, Co-Founder of the Rory Staunton Foundation

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