Presentations from WSD Supporter Meeting at ISICEM 2019 in Brussels
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This Tuesday, on March 19th, 2019, World Sepsis Day Supporters from all around the globe came together at the 39th ISICEM in Brussels for a World Sepsis Day Supporter Meeting.

Konrad Reinhart, Chair of the Global Sepsis Alliance and Marvin Zick, GSA’s General Manager, gave presentations on the achievements and strategy for 2019 and 2020, Outcomes of the 2nd WSC and 2018 World Sepsis Day, as well as the 2019 GSA Awards, the updated World Sepsis Day Infographics, and World Sepsis Day Pocket Cards.

Vida Hamilton, Ron Daniels, and Necmettin Unal shared recent achievements from the fight against sepsis – including best practices and strategies to increase awareness in medical professionals and laypeople – from Ireland, England, and Turkey, respectively.

Besides viewing the presentations below, you can also download them as PDFs using this button:

Our next World Sepsis Day Supporter Meeting will take place at ESICM in Berlin in September 2019. The exact date and location will be announced on our website in August, as well as send out via WSD News, for which you can sign up here. A form to register as well as details for the next meeting will always be available here.

Outcomes 2nd WSC and WSD 2018 - Marvin Zick

Achievements and Strategy for 2019/2020 - Konrad Reinhart

2019 GSA Awards, Pocket Cards, Infographics - Marvin Zick

Recent Developments in the UK - Ron Daniels

The National Sepsis Plan in Ireland - Vida Hamilton

National Activities in Turkey - Necmettin Unal

Marvin Zick
Results and Presentations from the 2nd Annual Meeting of the European Sepsis Alliance
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On Monday, March 18th, 2019, we hosted the 2nd Annual Meeting of the European Sepsis Alliance in Brussels.

Sepsis survivors, policy makers, representatives of the European Commission, researchers, representatives of European healthcare societies, as well as other important stakeholders all gathered in the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union to discuss how to jointly support the European Sepsis Alliance to accelerate the fight against sepsis in Europe. Besides presentations by Konrad Reinhart, Vida Hamilton, and Necmettin Unal, John McCarthy, sepsis survivor and representative of the UK Sepsis Trust and Shahrzad Kiavash, sepsis survivor and double-amputee triathlete, shared their personal stories of their encounter with sepsis and the achievements of the UK Sepsis Trust in the UK, respectively.

In the second part of the event, the panel discussion ‘Why We Need a Call for Action in Europe – the Patient Perspective’ made the voices of patients heard, a crucial and often underestimated component in the fight against sepsis. Our thanks go to Shahrzad Kiavash, Dennis Kredler, John McCarthy, Idelette Nutma, Aurica Pripa, and Arne Trumann for participating in the panel discussion, as well as to Christiane Hartog for moderating it so very thoughtfully.

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The second panel discussion, chaired by MEP José Inácio Faria, explored the need for a comprehensive strategy to tackle infection prevention, sepsis, and antimicrobial resistance.

The 2nd Annual Meeting of the European Sepsis Alliance was rounded off by two working groups, on research on epidemiology and quality of sepsis care in Europe and advocacy and policy.

On behalf of the European Sepsis Alliance and the Global Sepsis Alliance, we call for a comprehensive One Health Pan-European Infection Management Strategy that:

  • considers the intrinsic links between antimicrobial resistance, infection prevention/control, and sepsis control and care

  • understands the importance of overcoming silos within systems by initiating dialogue between sepsis advocacy groups, sepsis survivors, experts and professional societies and representatives of the European Commission, Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, the ECDC, and the WHO together with representatives and advocates of the AMR and IPC agendas

  • promotes awareness of sepsis and the potential of sepsis prevention by increasing vaccination rates and access to clean care, and to clean water, sanitation and hygiene where these are lacking

  • educates laypeople and healthcare workers about early recognition of sepsis

  • fosters the improvement of sepsis diagnosis and management by evidence-based sepsis management, improvement methodologies and systems resource and design

  • supports research and the better application of interoperability to existing national or regional patient-level datasets to better understand the epidemiology and burden of sepsis and AMR

  • and considers that AMR, IPC, and sepsis control and care are collectively a major health threat which must become an integral and cohesive part of any national, regional, and global healthcare strategy

The European Sepsis Alliance was founded under the patronage of the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, at our event “Sepsis - A Call to EU Action” in March 2018 and is part of the GSA strategy to establish 6 regional sepsis alliances spanning the world, implementing the demands of the WHO Resolution on Sepsis, and saving lives.

Marvin Zick
30th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC 2019) in June in Austria

The 30th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC 2019) will take place from June 18th to 21st in Salzburg, Austria. This is a unique multidisciplinary forum for colleagues from around the world to meet and discuss a variety of topics, generating stimulating debates and fruitful collaborations. Join doctors, nurses, and other allied healthcare professionals for this outstanding opportunity to take part in cutting-edge workshops, educational sessions, and networking opportunities.

Marvin Zick
World Sepsis Day Infographics Now Available in French
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The World Sepsis Day Infographics are now available in French.

Please download them and feel free to use them as you see fit, on your social media channels, printed at your events, and everywhere in between.

Like in the English, Spanish, and German versions, there are a total of 21 infographics, nine on sepsis itself, ranging from symptoms, sources, prevention, risk groups, to physiology, post-sepsis symptoms, and more. Additionally, there are two on hand-washing, and ten more pointing out the relationship to other World Health Days, such as World Malaria Day, World AIDS Day, World Immunization Week, and more.

The infographics are available as images (.png), as well as optimized for print (.pdf).

Please support us to make sure the French infographics are used widely - thank you so much.

If you like them, please use them and tell your colleagues and friends about sepsis and World Sepsis Day. If you don’t, or have suggestions for improvements, please let us know.

We will be translating the infographics to more languages over the coming months.

Marvin Zick
Reminder: 2nd Meeting of the European Sepsis Alliance and WSD Supporter Meeting in Brussels
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If you are in Brussels for ISICEM 2019 later this month, we’d like to encourage you to attend the 2nd Annual Meeting of the European Sepsis Alliance as well as the World Sepsis Day Supporter Meeting.


2nd Annual Meeting of the European Sepsis Alliance

  • Monday, March 18th, 2019 from 15:00 to 19:15h

  • Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union (Rue Montoyer 47, 1000 Brussels)

  • Participation is free of charge and open to everyone wanting to accelerate the fight against sepsis in Europe


World Sepsis Day Supporter Meeting

  • Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 from 12:30 to 14:15 (lunch break of ISICEM)

  • Square Convention Center, Room 213

  • Participation is free of charge and open to everyone supporting World Sepsis Day


We look forward to seeing you in Brussels in two weeks!

Marvin Zick
The Story of Sean, Up-And-Coming Musician Who Was Taken by Sepsis at Only 15 Years of Age
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In the morning of Friday January 12th 2018, we lost our amazing son Sean to sepsis. He was only 15 years old. Sean was a healthy young man with no underlying health issues. He was an up-and-coming rap artist who wrote and performed all his own material.

On Monday, January 8th, 2018, Sean came home from school and told his Mum he was not feeling too well. He was displaying flu-like symptoms, which were similar to those of a chest infection:

  • A persistent cough and a crackling sound in his chest

  • Breathlessness and shallow breathing

  • Aches in his muscles

  • High temperature

On Tuesday, he was feeling slightly better.

On Wednesday, Karen, Sean’s Mum, took him to the family doctor. She examined Sean and treated him for a chest infection, including prescribing antibiotics. The doctor stated that Sean had a high fever and a very bad chest infection. She was concerned that it might progress into pneumonia. Karen started Sean on the antibiotics immediately. However, with the severity of his cough it was impossible to keep the medication down. He was coughing up a lot of phlegm. He could not sleep at all that night.

On Thursday evening, Sean was sitting on the sofa in the living room watching TV with his mother. Karen was talking to Sean one minute and the next he was unresponsive. Karen called for me as I was upstairs. I ran down the stairs to my son, who was unresponsive and not breathing. I immediately got him off the couch and placed him on the floor. I checked his airways and began CPR. Karen called the ambulance. I continued to do CPR until the paramedics arrived. They took over and asked us to wait in the hall. They asked us whether Sean took anything, to which we replied that he just took his antibiotics, as prescribed by the doctor. They asked if he had any underlying health issues, which we declined. They told us that they were going to take Sean to the hospital, put him on a gurney, and loaded him into the ambulance. They took him to Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin just minutes after midnight. We followed in our car as they wouldn’t allow anyone to ride in the ambulance with Sean.

The doctors in the Accident and Emergency Department at Temple Street Children’s Hospital went to work immediately, assessing and examining Sean. We were asked to wait in a family room and were kept updated. We were again asked about Sean’s medical history, to which we again replied that Sean was a healthy young man who was treated with antibiotics for a chest infection by the family doctor. The doctors in the hospital were baffled – they had absolutely no clue what was wrong with Sean. One doctor told us that if Sean was to survive, there would be some damage to his brain as a result of the lack of oxygen. After a while, we were told that the doctors wanted to do a MRI scan and move him up into the Intensive Care Unit. They let us know that we might want to have some family come up to the hospital, as all indications were that Sean was not going through pull through and that it might only a matter of hours until he would pass away.

He did pass away in the morning hours of Friday, January 12th, 2018, a little over a year ago to this day.

We were officially informed at Sean’s inquest that the cause of his death was sepsis. We had never heard of sepsis before this. Not once were we educated on this silent global killer which stole our son’s life. At no time was the term sepsis mentioned to Karen or me by the family doctor, the paramedics, or the doctors in the hospital. We are educating ourselves about sepsis, with great material being available from the World Sepsis Day Movement and the UK Sepsis Trust. But it does not reach far enough. We were shocked at the level of public awareness in Ireland around this global medical emergency. Early recognition, diagnosis, and the correct treatment is the key to surviving sepsis.

  • There are at least 7 deaths per day in Irish hospitals from the “silent killer” called sepsis

  • Any infection can lead to sepsis

  • Almost 15,000 cases of sepsis were diagnosed in Ireland in 2016, resulting in 2,735 deaths, but both numbers are likely underestimated

  • Sepsis kills more people in Ireland every year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS combined

  • Sepsis does not discriminate against age, gender, or strength

Sean was six months from his 16th birthday. Our world will never be the same. Sean had a wake and a send-off that we know he would have been very proud of. Sean’s funeral received a guard of honor by his classmates and friends. All his songs were played inside and outside the church as the church was so full that many people had to pay their respects from outside. Friends of Sean have called him their role model. He was quick to help others and we are very proud to have called him our son.

Where is the awareness?

We could not find any readily available, easily accessibly, and easy to understand information in any of the doctors waiting rooms or in the hospitals in Ireland. When we asked the Health Service Executive why this is the case, we were told that there is information online. But not everyone has access to the internet or knows how to use it. We call for simple and easy to understand posters and infographics (such as the ones by World Sepsis Day) in every waiting room of every hospital and in every doctors office in Ireland.

Myself, Karen, and Sean’s sister Zoe are doing all that we can to raise awareness for sepsis. We are using social media to spread the message and have been interviewed a number of times on national radio and in national newspapers. We have hosted a sepsis awareness evening on January 12th this year, called The Red Event, coinciding with the first anniversary of Sean’s death. It was a huge success. There were around 70 guests in the attendance – 70 people who now know more about the signs and symptoms of sepsis than before the event. We have a number of other sepsis awareness events coming up and have printed out our own leaflets and banners, which are very effective.

One of the many highlights of the “Lil Red’s Legacy Sepsis Awareness Campaign” is that we were contacted by a mother whose daughter’s life was saved as a result of our campaign. Awareness saves lives. Please make sure you and your loved ones know the symptoms of sepsis!

The article above was written by Joe Hughes, Sean’s father, and is shared here with his 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 and World Sepsis Day wishes to thank Joe and his family for sharing Sean’s story and for fighting to raise awareness of sepsis.

Marvin Zick
GSA Global Quality Measures Survey Closes March 1st, 2019

The GSA Global Quality Measures Survey closes March 1st, 2019.

Please participate and encourage your colleagues and institutions, if you haven’t yet.
The survey is available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, and German.

Despite a recent resolution by the WHO and increasing worldwide recognition that sepsis poses a major global health threat, our knowledge of what sepsis surveillance, treatment, quality improvement (QI), and reporting practices look like across the world is surprisingly limited and fragmented. As a community of stakeholders from policy makers to healthcare providers, we need to know more about how these programs and practices vary between regions, between patient populations, and between healthcare settings.

The GSA is conducting a global survey, which will operate through 2 arms.
The first arm is a targeted survey that will be distributed to the head of every national government health agency in the UN member states. The second arm is a publicly available survey that is targeted to various healthcare providers, health administrators, and government health officials across the world. We aim for participation that includes every UN member state, from diverse types of healthcare providers, and from diverse patient populations.

The survey begins by clarifying respondents’ roles to ask only the questions that are relevant to them. The following 15-20 questions should take about 7-9 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous, and no data will ever be released in a manner that would allow any specific healthcare institution to be singled out.


Purpose of the Survey

To characterize the current practices related to sepsis surveillance, treatment, quality improvement, and reporting worldwide.


Date Protection and Privacy

All data is s collected through REDCap, a fully encrypted and secure data abstraction platform that has become a global industry standard to maintain both security and privacy for protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) in clinical trials and human subjects research.

This survey does not ask any questions that constitute PHI. The risk of any responses being able to identify individuals or institutions is extremely minimal. Nevertheless, all data is fully encrypted and housed in a secure location. One only individual will directly access raw data for analysis, and all data reports will always presented in aggregate only.


Share the Survey

Please share the survey with your colleagues and other interested parties:

Marvin Zick
Spanish WSD Pocket Cards for Medical Professionals and Laypeople Now Available
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The new World Sepsis Day Pocket Cards are now available in Spanish!

Like in the English Pocket Cards, there are two distinct versions - one for medical professionals and one for laypeople. Both versions cover sepsis in adults, in pregnant women, in children, and in newborns/neonates. In addition to how to spot sepsis in said groups, the pocket cards for medical professionals also include treatment advice.

The pocket cards are optimized for print. The format is 9 cm x 12.7 cm (3.5 x 5 in), like a small printed picture, and perfect to fit in a, well, pocket.

Please support us to make sure the new Spanish pocket cards are widely used in healthcare facilities and beyond - thanks so much, we really can’t do it without you. A special thanks to everyone who contributed to the spanish pocket cards, especially Luis Antonio Gordordo del Sol, Andres Laserna, and Carlos.

We spent a lot of time and thought on the World Sepsis Day Pocket Cards and sincerely hope you like them. If you do, the best way to show us is by using them and encouraging people to explore our toolkit section. If you don’t like them or have suggestions for improvements, please get in touch.

Marvin Zick