It’s Time to Talk About Blood Poisoning
This September, help raise sepsis awareness
Did you know that someone in the U.S. dies from sepsis every two minutes? Sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals — there are more deaths from sepsis than from prostate cancer, breast cancer, and AIDS combined.
That’s why it’s so important that September is Sepsis Awareness Month. We need to help get the word out about this health threat, which occurs when an individual’s immune response leads to a life-threatening inflammatory reaction. For healthcare providers and clinical lab members, sepsis is especially confounding because it can be brought on by bacterial, viral, parasitic, and even fungal infections, and symptoms overlap with many other conditions. You can learn more about the symptoms of sepsis on the CDC website.
We’ve been encouraged by the global response to the sepsis crisis, with a couple of important developments in the last few months. In May, the World Health Organization selected sepsis as a global health priority, allocating $4.6 million to a resolution that involves publishing a report on the global impact of sepsis, collaborating with United Nations organizations, and supporting WHO members in improving their management and prevention of sepsis. In addition, in June researchers published promising results from a new pediatric protocol designed to improve diagnosis of sepsis cases. The protocol includes an electronic alert to identify at-risk children in the emergency department. According to the paper in Annals of Emergency Medicine, the protocol reduced the number of missed sepsis diagnoses by a stunning 76 percent.
The Luminex team has worked hard to develop rapid and reliable assays for bloodstream infections to help in the fight against sepsis. This is a real passion for us, and we encourage employee awareness and participation through events such as our recent fundraiser that benefitted the Sepsis Alliance. We challenged our Austin-based team to a chili cook-off, complete with games and even a “Dunk the Boss” tank. Good food, good sports, and good cause — what could be better?
This September, please take a moment to educate a friend or relative about the dangers of sepsis. Together, we can all help raise awareness and maybe even save some lives.
Click here to learn how you can get involved with the Sepsis Alliance.