Fewer Than Half of American Adults Have Heard of Sepsis, One of the Deadliest Killers in the U.S., New Sepsis Alliance Survey Reveals
September 9, 2013
Awareness is lower among men, younger Americans.
SAN DIEGO, CALIF (September 9, 2013) – Fewer than one half of adult Americans have ever heard of sepsis, one of the deadliest diseases, responsible for more deaths annually than breast, prostate, and lung cancers combined, according to the results of a recent sepsis awareness poll commissioned by Sepsis Alliance and conducted by Harris Interactive. The number of people who indicated they had heard of sepsis (44%) marked an increase from last year (40%).
Sepsis Alliance commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct online polling in June 2013. Among over 2,500 U.S. adults, the survey found that younger Americans were significantly less likely to have heard the term “sepsis,” with 57 percent of U.S. adults ages 18-34 indicating that they had never heard of sepsis, (compared to 47% of those age 35-44, 39% of those age 45-54 and 36 percent of older Americans aged 55+). In addition, women were much more likely to have of sepsis, with 49 percent of women saying they have, compared to 38 percent of men confirming they had heard the term.
“While the trend for awareness is positive, our 2013 study confirms that greater recognition of sepsis is needed among all Americans, and particularly among younger adults,” said Thomas Heymann, Board President of Sepsis Alliance. “For there to be such disparity, not only among men and women, but also among younger versus older Americans, helps us identify the need for educational efforts going forward.”
Sometimes referred to as blood poisoning, sepsis is the body’s often-deadly response to infection. Sepsis kills 258,000 people every year in the United States. When spotted and treated early with fluids and antibiotics, thousands of lives could be saved both domestically and around the globe.
Sepsis Alliance is a nonprofit patient advocacy organization in the U.S. dedicated to raising sepsis awareness. To honor those who are making a difference in raising sepsis awareness, Sepsis Alliance is marking Sepsis Awareness Month by hosting its second annual Sepsis Heroes event on September 12, 2013, recognizing individuals and organizations that have made incredible strides in raising awareness of this deadly disease.
“We are making progress, but there is so much more effort that needs to be done – both by industry and government – to educate the public about the dangers of sepsis,” concluded Heymann. “Greater awareness will reduce healthcare costs and increase positive outcomes in hospital settings, which could translate into thousands of lives being saved.”
Full details on the Harris Interactive poll results can be downloaded here.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Sepsis Alliance from June 4-6, 2013 among 2,572 adults ages 18 and older. The online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Sepsis Alliance at 877-SEPSIS-1.
About Sepsis Alliance
Sepsis Alliance is a nonprofit patient advocacy organization in the U.S. promoting awareness of sepsis. Sepsis Alliance operates by providing information and education to raise awareness of sepsis and its devastating effects. Sepsis Alliance also provides support by giving people affected by sepsis a forum to share information. Sepsis Alliance was founded by Dr. Carl Flatley after the loss of his 23 year-old daughter, Erin, to sepsis. Her death in 2002 spurred Dr. Flatley to start an organization that would promote awareness of sepsis to both medical professionals and patients. Sepsis Alliance is registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and is a founding member of the Global Sepsis Alliance. For more information on Sepsis Alliance, please visit www.sepsisalliance.org.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveragingresearch, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services,insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our customsolutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.