Survey Finds EMS May Not Be Prepared to Treat Children for Deadly Sepsis – the Leading Cause of Death of Infants and Small Children Worldwide
February 3, 2020
Sepsis Alliance and Children’s Hospital Association release Sepsis: Pediatric First Response, a training module for EMS and emergency medical clinicians
San Diego, Calif – Today, Sepsis Alliance and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) released the results of their Pediatric Sepsis and EMS survey. The survey found that only 41% of emergency medical services providers (EMS) are very confident in their ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis in children. This is in contrast to the majority (82%) of EMS who are very confident in recognizing pediatric asthma. Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening response to infection.
In the United States, sepsis takes the lives of more children than pediatric cancers and accounts for 100,000 pediatric emergency department visits each year. Yet, only 54% of survey respondents are very aware of sepsis symptoms in children. In addition, 66% of respondents do not often initiate treatment in the field for pediatric patients with sepsis.
“It is extremely worrying to learn that a majority of EMS are often not starting lifesaving treatment in the field, because the data consistently show that early sepsis treatment saves lives and improves outcomes,” said Rom Duckworth, LP, award-winning EMS Educator, career Fire Captain with 30 years of experience, and Sepsis Alliance Advisory Board member.
“Recognizing the signs and symptoms of sepsis in our youngest patients should be a priority for EMS organizations, to increase practitioner confidence,” said Dr. Katherine Remick, Emergency Pediatric Care Medical Director, NAEMT. “NAEMT, in partnership with Sepsis Alliance, is committed to providing prehospital practitioners with the education to recognize and treat sepsis in the field.”
The Sepsis Institute, an online learning platform created by Sepsis Alliance, and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) teamed up to launch Sepsis: Pediatric First Response, a training module to help teach prehospital and emergency medical clinicians how to identify, assess, and begin treatment for pediatric patients with sepsis. The training module, presented by Duckworth, features two case studies and expert commentary by Charles Macias, MD, MPH, Chief Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Vice Chair of Quality & Safety/Chief Quality Officer, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
The module also includes introductory remarks from the late Edward J. Gabriel, MPA, EMT-P, CEM, CBCP, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Incident Command and Control, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This training module is offered for continuing education credits for physicians and nurses.
“The partnership between Sepsis Alliance and CHA is a valuable extension of the work of children’s hospitals to significantly reduce and better manage sepsis in children through our Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes collaborative,” said CHA Chief Operating Officer Amy Knight. “We’re excited to widen our spread of evidence-based practice to any provider caring for children. Early recognition and intervention are critical to better outcomes.”
The Sepsis: Pediatric First Response training module has been funded in part with Federal contract funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe). Additional support for the training module and accompanying video was provided by the Del E. Webb Foundation.
Sepsis Alliance also released a companion video to the training module. The video, targeting emergency providers and parents, portrays a real-life story of a pediatric sepsis case with expert interviews incorporated from Duckworth and Dr. Macias. The video also includes expert insights from Runa Gokhale, MD, MPH, Medical Officer, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To download the Pediatrics Sepsis and EMS survey, access the Sepsis: Pediatric First Response training module, and view the companion video, visit https://www.sepsis.org/trainingmodule/sepsis-pediatric-first-response/.
About Sepsis Alliance
Sepsis Alliance is the leading sepsis organization in the U.S., working to save lives and reduce suffering by improving sepsis awareness and care. Sepsis.org, the organization’s website, serves the needs of more than 2.5 million visitors each year. In 2011, Sepsis Alliance designated September as Sepsis Awareness Month to bring healthcare professionals and community members together in the fight against sepsis. 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 2003, sepsis awareness in the U.S. has risen from 19% to 65%. Sepsis Alliance is a GuideStar Gold Rated charity. For more information, please visit www.sepsis.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter at @SepsisAlliance.
Formed in 1975 and more than 67,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians is the only national association representing the professional interests of all emergency and mobile healthcare practitioners, including emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians, emergency medical responders, paramedics, advanced practice paramedics, critical care paramedics, flight paramedics, community paramedics, and mobile integrated healthcare practitioners. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.
About Children’s Hospital Association
The Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 220 children’s hospitals, advancing child health through innovation in the quality, cost, and delivery of care. Through the Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes collaborative, children’s hospitals are reducing mortality from sepsis and Improving survivor outcomes. For more information about CHA, please visit www.childrenshospitals.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter at @hospitals4kids.
**In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Children’s Hospital Association and Sepsis Alliance. Children’s Hospital Association is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.