Workshop: "Integral Resuscitation of the Patient with Sepsis" at ICEM 2018

The Sepsis Mexico Foundation will give the workshop "Integral Resuscitation of the Patient with Sepsis" during the International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM 2018), organized by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine (IFEM) and the Mexican Society of Emergency Medicine AC (SMME). The course has a program taught by experts, specialists in emergency medicine, infectology and epidemiology, with topics such as: "Sepsis-3 - Definition and Controversies", "Water Resuscitation", "Volume Response Evaluation", "Rational Use of Antimicrobials", and more.
It will take place on June 5, 2018, in the pre-congress events, entirely in Spanish.

Marvin Zick
Announcing the 2nd World Sepsis Congress: A Free Online Congress on September 5th and 6th, 2018

On September 5th and 6th, the Global Sepsis Alliance, initiator of World Sepsis Day and World Sepsis Congress, will host the 2nd World Sepsis Congress. The 2nd WSC is a free online congress in which over 100 renowned experts from all around the world will give presentations on all aspects of sepsis, fostering our aspiration to bring knowledge about sepsis to all parts of the world. The congress will be held in English and is open to everyone with an internet connection.

Marvin Zick
Apply or Nominate for the 2018 GSA Awards - Deadline March 31st

Applications and nominations for the 2018 GSA Awards will close in two weeks, on March 31st, 2018.

The GSA Awards honor major contributions in the fight against sepsis every year and are exclusively sponsored by the Erin Kay Flatley Memorial Foundation.
They are granted in three categories:

  1. Governments and Healthcare Authorities
  2. Non-Governmental Organizations, Patient Advocate Groups, or Healthcare Provider Groups
  3. Individual Nominees

In addition to glory, prestige, and a beautiful trophy, winners of category 2 and 3 are awarded with $ 2,500 each.

The deadline to apply is March 31st, 2018. Please share this call with your colleagues, friends, and other interested parties.

Marvin Zick
Reminder: WSD Supporter Meeting on March 21st at ISICEM in Brussels

In two weeks, on March 21st, 2018, the GSA will hold its next WSD Supporter Meeting at the International Symposium of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine. Main topics will be the collaboration with the WHO to roll out the demands of the Resolution on Sepsis, an update on the establishment of regional and national sepsis alliances, the 2nd World Sepsis Congress (September 5th and 6th, 2018), and much more.

Additionally, we are looking forward to your ideas, proposals and suggestions to further improve our GSA activities.

  • Wednesday, 21st March 2018
  • 12:15 to 14:30h
  • Meeting Room: 201 A&B
  • Snacks will be provided
  • Participation is free of charge and open to everyone
Marvin Zick
Reminder: Sepsis - A Call to EU Action

In two weeks, on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018, the Global Sepsis Alliance, jointly with EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, will host the event 'Sepsis - The Most Preventable Cause of Death and Disability in Europe - A Call to EU Action' in Brussels, Belgium.

The event will take place from 14:30 to 20:00 in the Palace of the Académies (Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels), which is in walking distance of both the European Commission as well as the Square Meeting Center, where the 38th ISICEM is held. 

You are hereby cordially invited to join us, the Commissioner, and many more prestigious speakers for this groundbreaking symposium.

This event will highlight the human and economic burden of sepsis in Europe, point out that most sepsis deaths and impairments are preventable, foster the implementation of the requests of the WHO Resolution on Sepsis across the European Union, and call for the development of a Pan-European sepsis strategy. Additionally, this symposium will serve as the kick-off meeting for the European Sepsis Alliance.

Due to limited seating capacity, please RSVP to the event using the button below. We look forward to meeting you in Brussels in March!

Marvin Zick
PSA: Flu Season Means Higher Risk for Sepsis - Get Vaccinated!

Every year, millions of people get the flu. The good news is that the seasonal flu vaccine can lower the risk of getting the flu by about half. Getting the yearly flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu, which often leads to sepsis.

The WHO recommends annual vaccination for:

  • pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
  • children aged between 6 months to 5 years
  • elderly individuals (aged more than 65 years)
  • individuals with chronic medical conditions
  • health-care workers

EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis calls on all EU citizens to receive the flu vaccine. Every year, 40,000 people in the EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway die from complications of influenza. The World Health Organization estimates that annual flu epidemics result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness globally and 290,000 to 650,000 deaths. Sepsis ist one of the most serious complication of the flu.

This year’s dominant virus, H3N2, has been circulating for 50 years — it emerged as the “Hong Kong flu” in 1968 — but it is usually the most lethal of the seasonal strains.




Helen Reinke
Thomas - Taken by Sepsis Within 24 Hours

Before we lost our precious son Thomas, we had a very limited amount of knowledge about sepsis. It was a medical condition that we were vaguely aware of – something that we had never in our lives dreamt of being faced with. The terrifying fact is, sepsis is real, it is serious and it can kill. Looking back, there were perhaps one or two warning signs with our little angel. But to be honest, those signs could so easily be confused with other things. It is so hard to see those signs unless you are a trained expert. But there are precautions that you can take with a little bit of insight and knowledge.

On Thursday June 1st,  2017, I said goodbye to my little boy for the last time before I headed to work. Completely oblivious as to what the next few hours would bring and how they would change my life forever.

Thomas was a happy, lively little boy.  He was so independent and clever.  He reached all of his milestones early on – he rolled over at three and a half months, sat up at five months, crawled at six.  By the age of one there was a long list of words that he was able to say. He was beginning to form simple sentences. At eighteen months he could climb a jungle gym with little assistance and happily go down the slide on his own. We often wondered if he was musically gifted. He had a natural rhythm and could clap along to most songs. If a song that he knew and loved started playing he would drop everything and start dancing. From as early on as when he was in my womb I would play music for him. He loved it. The list was endless. We were so proud of his abilities, we never in our wildest dreams thought we would be faced with such a nightmare as losing him. He was so determined, so strong…

Yes, he did succumb to ear infections and colds, runny noses and the like. That was part of going to creche and exposing his immune system to bugs.  My worst enemy was his high fevers, they absolutely terrified me.  He once had a seizure and we had to race him to the emergency room, something which is an extremely awful thing to witness as a parent. From that moment on, I was constantly on “fever alert”. We spent a lot of time taking Tom to doctors and pediatricians.  Two days before he died, I took him to a renowned ENT specialist in our suburb.  He checked him thoroughly and assured me that everything was fine and Thomas appeared to be a healthy little boy. Whatever infection our son had, it took him in a matter of hours.

The evening before this catastrophic event, Tom did seem a little ratty and restless. He played a little on the kitchen counter next to me as I cooked supper and seemed to take an enjoyment in throwing pieces of dried spaghetti on the floor and waiting to see my reaction.  He did not want to eat, as much as we tried to encourage him.  He seemed clumsy almost, he hit his head on the dinner table as he struggled to get off my knee.

“He’s coming down with something”, we thought. “Either that or he’s teething”. He settled down to bed with a bottle and a cuddle. There was no fever at that point in the evening. No other signs of anything being seriously wrong. It was after midnight that he awoke with a raging temperature and I was ready for it with suppositories and neurofen.

After much deliberation the next day, deciding whether to stay at home with him or take him to my Mums, I decided on the latter. “I’ll take him to the doctors this afternoon if he still isn’t well”, I thought.

I kept in touch with my mother throughout the morning. Although Thomas had been tired after a restless night, he perked up when he saw his grandparents. He played in the kitchen with his toy cars, he even ate all of his porridge. As his mid-morning nap approached, my Mum sat with him to watch C-Beebies. She noticed that he had grown tried all of a sudden and seemed a little pale.  He just needed a good nap. He almost flopped into her arms as she carried him to bed. A slightly lower than normal temperature had been confirmed when I phoned her at approximately 10 am. She said his feet had felt cold so she covered him in a fleecy blanket, it was the middle of winter. None of us had any idea that these were serious signs that something was wrong.

The rest of that day is a blur in my mind. I was told a few hours later that our beloved son had passed away in his sleep. The most devastating day of my life. Nothing will ever replace this hopeless feeling of loss. It is one dark, empty void.

What does give me some amount of peace is writing about my son, as well as spreading awareness for this awful condition. In order to potentially save a life, one needs to know the facts regarding sepsis. 

  • Anyone can develop sepsis, but it is more common in young children or the elderly.
  • Sepsis can develop from many different things, an infection inside the body, such as a chest infection. It can also be caused by an injury such as a deep cut that was never cleaned or treated properly. It can be caused by a virus (which is what we think happened to Thomas), but more commonly from bacteria.
  • The warning signs are usually a sudden change in vitals, such as a drop in blood pressure and temperature, the patient may seem confused and “out of it”, dizziness and chills, fast breathing or shortness of breath. 
  • Sepsis can be treated if detected early enough with intravenous antibiotics.
  • Patients can make a full recovery if treated on time.

Our son had only two possible indications of this: the sudden drop in temperature and the drowsiness just before he went to sleep.

If you think something is wrong, trust your instincts.  A blood test can be performed to detect things like infection. Do not be afraid of looking like you are an overly protective parent. Sepsis took our little boy within 24 hours. If you can prevent a friend or loved one from going through this agony, it is worth it just to read up on this condition.

I will never again hold my little boy in my arms, I will never again hear his sweet voice or watch him dance or kick a ball. He will however, be forever a beautiful not quite two – year old in my mind. When I hear the introduction to the song “September”, I am instantly reminded of him. He was carefree and happy just as the song is. My little music man, my shining star in the sky.      

The article above was written by Laura Gatley, Thomas mother, and is posted here with her explicit consent. The views in the article do not necessarily represent those of the Global Sepsis Alliance. They are not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The whole team here at the GSA & World Sepsis Day wishes to thank Laura & her husband for sharing Thomas story and for fighting to raises awareness of sepsis.

To help us avoid similar stories in the future, please consider donating to support our cause. Thank you.

Marvin Zick
It’s in Your Hands – Prevent Sepsis in Health Care

Every year on May 5th, the World Health Organization and its commited partners all around the world celebrate World Hand Hygenie Day as a call to action for health workers, but also to stimulate the general public for why hand hygenie is so crucially important.

This year, the slogan is "It's in your hands - prevent sepsis in health care".

Although 80 % of sepsis cases are contracted outside of a hospital (see video below), hand hygenie plays a huge role in the prevention of infections, which can quickly lead to sepsis.

Therefore, the WHO urges you to focus on the fight against sepsis in the context of hand hygiene and infection prevention in health care.

Sepsis is estimated to affect more than 30 million patients every year worldwide, and global rates of sepsis are thought to be growing rapidly. At the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017, Member States adopted a resolution on improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.

The WHO Calls to action are: 

  • Health workers: “Take 5 Moments to clean your hands to prevent sepsis in health care."
  • IPC leaders: “Be a champion in promoting hand hygiene to prevent sepsis in health care.”
  • Health facility leaders: "Prevent sepsis in health care, make hand hygiene a quality indicator in your hospital.”
  • Ministries of health: "Implement the 2017 WHA sepsis resolution. Make hand hygiene a national marker of health care quality."
  • Patient advocacy groups: "Ask for 5 Moments of clean hands to prevent sepsis in health care."

We encourage you and your organization to support World Hand Hygenie Day and prevent sepsis in health care!

Helen Reinke