Rep. Matsui & Guthrie Take Aim at Sepsis

December 14, 2018

Representatives Matsui and Guthrie Take Aim at Sepsis, Which Kills Almost 270,000 Americans Annually

House Resolution 1175 Seeks to Increase Sepsis Awareness and Speed Diagnosis and Treatment

WASHINGTONDec. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Stop Sepsis, Save Lives Coalition applauds Representatives Doris Matsui(D-CA) and Brett Guthrie (R-TN) for introducing House Resolution 1175 to support increased awareness of sepsis and highlight the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate intervention.

“By introducing this bipartisan resolution, Representatives Matsui and Guthrie have taken a critical first step to drive broader sepsis awareness and emphasize the urgent need to seek treatment when there are signs and symptoms of sepsis,” said Thomas Heymann, President and Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection. It occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight an infection unleash an inflammatory response throughout the body. This can trigger changes that damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.

“Sepsis is perhaps the most serious and significant health care challenge and unmet public health need facing our nation today,” said Tommy Thompson, the four-term Wisconsin governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush. “This deadly but treatable condition kills almost 270,000 Americans each year – more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are at least 1.7 million sepsis cases in the U.S. each year and one in three hospital deaths are linked to sepsis. However, about two-thirds of sepsis cases are first diagnosed in the emergency room, which means they are acquired outside the hospital setting.

Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton know the devastating toll of sepsis firsthand. Their 12-year-old son Rory, who dreamed of being a pilot and was dedicated to helping others, died of sepsis after cutting his arm during a fall in gym class. In 2013, they established the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention, which works to facilitate the rapid diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in hospitals through the implementation of protocols and to educate the public about the condition.

“By improving awareness and rapid diagnosis of sepsis, we can have a profound effect on the sepsis death toll,” said Orlaith Staunton. “This is a solvable crisis.”

In addition to children like Rory Staunton, elderly individuals are also highly vulnerable to sepsis. “About two-thirds of all sepsis cases occur in people over the age of 65,” said Susan Peschin, MHS, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research. “The key to fighting this dangerous condition is recognizing it early and treating it quickly.”

Early diagnosis is critical to surviving sepsis. According to Heymann, “mortality from sepsis increases by as much as 8% for every hour that treatment is delayed. As many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented with rapid diagnosis and treatment.”

“We sincerely thank Representatives Matsui and Guthrie for introducing this resolution to increase sepsis awareness and promote early diagnosis and treatment,” said Ciaran Staunton. “Although it is too late for our beloved Rory, we want other families to be spared this horrific tragedy.”

About the Stop Sepsis, Save Lives Coalition

The Stop Sepsis, Save Lives Coalition was formed in summer 2018 to increase sepsis awareness and incentivize timely sepsis diagnosis and treatment. Comprised of key patient advocacy organizations and representatives from the diagnostics, device and pharmaceutical industries, its members currently include the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention, Sepsis Alliance, the Alliance for Aging Research, bioMérieux, Hill-Rom/Welch Allyn, Merck, and the Antimicrobials Working Group.

SOURCE Stop Sepsis, Save Lives Coalition