Sepsis 911 Leader Script

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1 Sepsis 911 Leader Script SLIDE 1 Sepsis 911 Welcome to Sepsis My name is. I m speaking to you today about sepsis, something that you may not have heard of before you joined us today. You re not alone. So, why am I doing this presentation? Sepsis affected me when According to the latest survey conducted annually by Sepsis Alliance, the nation s leading sepsis non-profit organization, only 58% percent of American adults have ever heard the word sepsis. And many who have heard the word, don t really know what it means. The goal of today is to help improve that statistic. So in the next 30 minutes, I m going to cover what sepsis is and isn t, the symptoms and stages, as well as prevention and what to do if you think you or a loved one has sepsis. SLIDE 2 What do you know about sepsis? Before talking about sepsis, I m going to ask you to fill out a short quiz now and then again when the presentation is finished. This questionnaire will help both of us understand what you knew about sepsis before we started and how much you learned from our talk. Please take a couple minutes to answer these questions. SLIDE 3 What sepsis is So let s get started! What is sepsis? It is your body s toxic response to an infection. It kills about 258,000 people every year in the U.S. That s more than people who die from breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS combined. When you have an infection, your immune system works hard to fight it. Sometimes it can fight the infection on its own and other times it needs help with drugs like antibiotics, antifungals, or antiviral medications. For reasons we don t understand, sometimes instead of fighting the infection, your body starts to attack itself. This is sepsis. It s the number one killer in hospitals in the U.S. however, most cases begin in the community, not a hospital. This means that most of the time sepsis develops from an infection someone gets in everyday life, as opposed to as a result of a hospital procedure or complication.

2 SLIDE 4 What sepsis isn t People may refer to sepsis as blood poisoning but that term isn t accurate any more. Sepsis is also not an infection and it s not contagious. It s your body s reaction TO an infection. It is also not rare, either. In fact, about 1.6 million people in the U.S. develop sepsis every year. SLIDE 5 Why have so few people heard of sepsis? In the healthcare community, sepsis isn t necessarily a commonly used word, which is surprising because it is not an uncommon illness. Unfortunately, doctors tend to not to use the word sepsis instead saying things like complications of pneumonia, or complications from an infection. Even death certificates often default to the original diagnosis, which could be cancer or another illness, stating complications of. If doctors and nurses aren t using the word sepsis, it s more difficult for patients and families to learn about it. We all need to start using the word. Say sepsis. SLIDE 6 Sepsis 911 Video I m going to take a break from talking for a few minutes and let a sepsis survivor tell you more about sepsis. This video features Sue Stull, a sepsis survivor, along with her husband Jay. Sue became ill in August 2014 with what she thought was the flu. After seeing her doctor, Sue was diagnosed with a viral illness. However, instead of getting better as you would expect as the virus runs its course, Sue just became more ill. The doctors then suspected that she had a urinary tract infection. Sue deteriorated very quickly and progressed to septic shock that resulted in a quadruple amputation. This is her story. Please note that some of the images are graphic and may be disturbing to some people. SHOW VIDEO SLIDE 7 I felt like I was hit by a Mack truck. Sue Stull Did you notice how Sue said, I felt like I was run over by a Mac truck? This is a common feeling that many survivors express. They say had the worst sore throat in their life, or they felt the sickest they d ever felt. This is one of the symptoms Sepsis Alliance describes on their symptoms list:

3 S for shivering, fever, or feeling very cold E for extreme pain or general discomfort. As Sue said, feeling like you ve been hit by a truck. P for pale or discolored skin. There may be a rash that won t go away when you press down on it. S for being sleepy, difficult to rouse or confused I for I feel like I might die S for short of breath At first glance, these symptoms may seem quite vague like those of the flu. It s when someone has a combination of these symptoms, paired with an infection, that sepsis should be a serious concern. SLIDE 8 Sepsis is a medical emergency If someone you know has an infection or is very sick with any of these symptoms, suspect sepsis and seek medical help right away. Just like strokes and heart attacks, time is vital. The chances of surviving severe sepsis drops by 8% every hour there is no treatment. Sepsis is a medical emergency. Call and be sure to let them know you are concerned about sepsis. SLIDE 9 Why does sepsis occur? What causes sepsis? An infection. To quickly recap, we already talked about how sepsis is your body s toxic response to an infection. When you have an infection, your immune system works hard to fight it but sometimes your immune systems turns and starts to attack itself. This is sepsis. SLIDE 10 Stages of sepsis There are actually four different stages of sepsis. First is called SIRS, which is short for Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. It s your body s normal reaction to any infection as your immune system tries to fight it. Having SIRS does not mean that you will have sepsis. You can have SIRS and then your body fights the infection and both the infection and SIRS go away. If your body can t fight the infection though, SIRS can develop into sepsis. SLIDE 11 Stage 2 & 3 Sepsis and Severe Sepsis So someone has an infection and their body is trying to fight it, but turns on itself. Now this person has sepsis.

4 We ve already talked about these symptoms and they re important to reference again as we talk about how sepsis progresses. Sepsis is when you have a combination of any of the symptoms, such as high or low body temperature, rapid breathing, confusion, and change in mental status. When someone progresses to severe sepsis, they have a combination of these symptoms AND one of their organs is failing. This could be the kidneys not producing urine or your lungs not working properly, making it difficult to breathe. These are just two examples. Remember I shared that if you have severe sepsis, your chances of survival drops 8% every hour you are not treated. Sepsis can progress very quickly, which is why it s so important to know the symptoms and get medical attention right away if you suspect sepsis. SLIDE 12 Stage 4 Septic Shock Septic shock is the most severe form of sepsis and occurs when you have the signs of sepsis, one or more of your organs aren t working properly, AND your blood pressure drops. It is the most difficult to treat. SLIDE 13 Types of infections that cause sepsis We already know that sepsis is caused by an infection, but I also want you to know that this infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or even parasites. This is why it s particularly important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of sepsis if: You ve been injured by a cut or a bug bite You ve had an illness, like food poisoning or pneumonia Or you ve had an invasive procedure, such as surgery, a urinary catheter, or even an intravenous line. Any time your skin is broken or something is introduced into your body, you are at risk of developing an infection. That being said, sometimes people who develop sepsis never knew they had an infection or the doctors never identify what the infection was. SLIDE 14 Who gets sepsis? Sepsis does not discriminate and anyone of any age can get sepsis. There are those who are at a higher risk including people with a chronic illness, such as diabetes or COPD, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The very young are also at a higher risk because they don t have a fully developed immune system yet. On the other end of the spectrum, the very old are at risk too, as are people who have weaker immune systems, which can be caused by taking medications like steroids or chemotherapy. All of this increases the risk of sepsis.

5 Also, if you ve had sepsis before, you may also be at higher risk of developing it again. SLIDE 15 Celebrities and sepsis Sepsis sometimes makes national headlines, especially when celebrities are involved. Each of these well-known people survived or unfortunately passed from sepsis. Professional boxer Muhammad Ali passed away in June 2016 from septic shock. Actress Patty Duke passed away in March 2016 from sepsis. Muppets creator Jim Henson passed away in May There are conflicting reports as to what type of infection Mr. Henson had (pneumonia, strep, even toxic shock syndrome), but it was later confirmed the cause was organ failure. While the news media called it organ failure, we know that means sepsis. Actress Mary-Louise Parker developed sepsis from Influenza A. After more than 25 years as the Pope, Pope John Paul II passed away from sepsis and multiple organ failure in April Country singer Chris Young went into septic shock after an infection in his leg progressed. SLIDE 16 Complications after treatment Unfortunately, the treatment needed to save people from dying from sepsis can cause long-term consequences such as post-sepsis syndrome, PTSD, organs not working properly, and even amputations. Post-sepsis syndrome is a condition that affects up to 50% of sepsis survivors. They are left with physical and/or psychological long-term effects, such as: Insomnia, difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep Nightmares, vivid hallucinations and panic attacks Disabling muscle and joint pains Extreme fatigue Poor concentration Decreased mental (cognitive) functioning Loss of self-esteem and self-belief Similarly, there are many survivors who are diagnosed with PTSD following their treatment. In severe cases, amputations are required after surviving sepsis. The medications given to keep the blood flow going to the major organs can cause tissue death in the extremities, causing them to turn black. Often this happens in the fingers and toes first. When too much tissue dies, it has to be removed, which sometimes means amputation.

6 SLIDE 17 Sepsis prevention Sepsis can t always be prevented, but we can reduce our risk of contracting an infection, which reduces our risk of getting sepsis. We reduce our risk of infection by following some simple steps, including frequent and thorough hand washing, keeping wounds clean and dry, avoiding people who are sick and avoiding going out when we are sick, receiving recommended vaccines, and taking care of ourselves when we do get an infection. That means: Taking antibiotics when prescribed for a bacterial infection and following the directions Taking them as often as prescribed and for as long as prescribed. Not taking someone else s antibiotics because you think it may be the same infection. Not asking for antibiotics for an infection that is not bacterial. SLIDE 18 What you can do: Advocate Up to half of sepsis deaths could be prevented by timely recognition and treatment and many complications could be avoided. In order to advocate for yourself and your loved ones, you first need to know that sepsis exists. That s why sepsis awareness is vital and hopefully after today you know more about sepsis and can recognize the symptoms. You can also visit Sepsis.org for even more information and resources SLIDE 19 Thank you Thank you for sharing your time with me. We re ready to wrap up with a short quiz to see what you ve learned. I d also like you to complete a quick evaluation about today s presentation. After that, we ll take some time to answer any questions. If you re looking for more resources you can also go to Sepsis Alliance s website, Sepsis.org, them at and find them on social media. HAND OUT POST-QUIZ AND ATTENDEE SURVEY Allow a few minutes for everyone to complete the quiz and evaluation, then go over the answers together. Encourage audience participation by having an attendee share what they think the right answer is.

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