Sepsis Awareness Month Declared in California

September 4, 2019

sepsis awareness month california

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Yesterday the Senate of the State of California designated September 2019 as Sepsis Awareness Month in the state, noting that while sepsis is a serious, large and growing medical problem, only about 12 percent of adults in the U.S. know its symptoms.  The number of sepsis cases per 100 hospitalizations in California has more than doubled since 2010, and 12 percent of infants under one year of age and 22 percent of individuals over 85 years of age who develop sepsis in California die from the condition, as highlighted in the California Senate’s resolution.

“It is imperative that Californians are aware of the dangers of sepsis and how to identify its symptoms,” said state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, the author of Senate Resolution 60. “In California, the number of sepsis cases per 100 hospitalizations has doubled since 2010, and 86 percent of cases develop outside of the hospital. Early detection and treatment are key to mitigating the disastrous effects of sepsis. Across the country, sepsis claims the lives of at least 270,000 people each year with the greatest losses of life occurring among young children and elderly people. Heightened awareness is our best weapon to combat this potentially deadly medical condition.”

Sepsis results from an overwhelming immune response to infections—including common ones such as pneumonia, influenza and urinary tract infection—in which immune chemicals released into the blood to combat infection trigger widespread inflammation.  The condition can lead to tissue damage and organ failure.  Sepsis can be treated with immediate diagnosis and care and must be regarded as a medical emergency.

“Sepsis Alliance is grateful to Senator Hill for his dedication to raising awareness of sepsis, which affects an estimated 1.7 million people in the U.S. annually, and his desire to promote a healthier California,” said Thomas Heymann, President & Executive Director, Sepsis Alliance. “We look forward to continuing our work with Senator Hill to increase sepsis awareness, the early detection, diagnosis, and management of sepsis, and to save lives.”

In 2011, Sepsis Alliance designated September as Sepsis Awareness Month to bring healthcare professionals and community members together in the fight against sepsis. The California Senate resolution noted that each year, at least 270,000 deaths in the United States result from sepsis—more than from prostate cancer, breast cancer, and opioid overdoses combined—and that sepsis is the most expensive cause of hospitalization in the country.

About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the leading sepsis organization in the U.S., working in all 50 states to save lives and reduce suffering by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. In 2011, Sepsis Alliance designated September as Sepsis Awareness Month to bring healthcare professionals and community members together in the fight against sepsis. In 2018, Sepsis Alliance created the award-winning national campaign, It’s About T.I.M.E.TM, to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of sepsis and to highlight the urgent need to seek treatment when symptoms are recognized.

T – Temperature – higher or lower than normal

I – Infection – may have signs or symptoms of infection

M – Mental Decline – confused, sleepy, difficult to rouse

E – Extremely ill – “I feel like I might die”, severe pain or discomfort

Sepsis Alliance gives a voice to the millions of people who have been touched by sepsis – to the survivors, and the friends and family members of those who have survived or who have died. Since 2007, sepsis awareness in the U.S. has risen from 19% to 65%. Sepsis Alliance is a GuideStar Platinum Rated charity. For more information, please visit Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter at @SepsisAlliance.

Media Contact

Angelica Estrada