What is sepsis?
Sepsis is a time critical, life threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It can be present in any patient, in any clinical setting and is a medical emergency just like a heart attack or stroke.
Sepsis can be caused by a huge variety of different bugs, most cases being caused by common bacteria which we all come into contact with every day without them making us ill. Your immune system protects you from many illnesses and infections, but it’s also possible for it to go into overdrive in response to an infection.
Sepsis develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead. If not treated in time, sepsis can lead to septic shock, multiple organ failure and death (mortality).
Early diagnosis and coordinated treatment of patients with sepsis reduces the chances of poor health outcomes, including death, for which there is an 8% higher chance for every hour delay in starting antibiotics.
What is the Survive Sepsis Improvement Collaborative?
During any given week, there are five patients in our hospitals that are suffering from sepsis, one in four of which will die. The Survive Sepsis Improvement Collaborative aims to improve our patients’ outcomes by reducing our rate of mortality from sepsis.
We plan to do this through timely recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis:
- better time to antibiotics;
- best recognition for potential to deteriorate; and
- brilliant infection care
Survive sepsis driver diagram
[View a larger version of our Sepsis Driver Diagram]
Where to from here?
The collaborative has two phases:
- Phase 1: Representatives from multiple specialist areas have developed a set of guidelines for the timely recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis within our hospitals
- Phase 2: Improvement groups will consist of multidisciplinary teams from similar wards, each supported by one of our improvement specialists, a member of the clinical advisory group and their operational manager. As well as learning more about sepsis, the teams will learn more about improvement and leading change.
Teams will be supported to run their own improvement projects focused on recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in their areas. The projects will commence in December and run through to September 2017. We plan to celebrate our achievements across the organisation on World Sepsis Day 2017.
Gary's story about surviving sepsis